Frequently asked questions relating to Barking leasehold conveyancing
My husband and I may need to sub-let our Barking basement flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Barking conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Barking conveyancing solicitor is not available you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to obtain permission via your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without first obtaining consent. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.
There are only Fifty years unexpired on my lease in Barking. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. For most situations a specialist should be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Barking.
I have just started marketing my garden flat in Barking.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
It best that you discharge the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
Back In 2007, I bought a leasehold flat in Barking. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Barking who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Barking conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Barking where we see a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Barking conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
After months of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Barking. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Barking property is 240 Strone Road in January 2014. the tribunal held that the price to be paid for the freehold interest was£23,538 of which£13,017 is attributable to the ground floor flat and £10,521 to the first floor flat. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 65.5 years.