Bankside leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Bankside. Before I get started I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Bankside - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
My partner and I may need to sub-let our Bankside ground floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Bankside conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Bankside do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.
I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Bankside. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Bankside are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Bankside so you should seriously consider looking for a Bankside conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Bankside. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
I work for a reputable estate agency in Bankside where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Bankside conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the purchaser.
I inherited a two-bedroom flat in Bankside. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?
in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the sum to be paid.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Bankside premises is 1-41 Royal Tower Lodge 40 Cartwright Street in April 2013. the tribunal adding the agreed value of capitalised ground rents and the reversion the price to be paid for the freehold was £1,187,000 This case was in relation to 41 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 107 years.