Questions and Answers: Beckenham leasehold conveyancing
I am intending to let out my leasehold apartment in Beckenham. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?
A lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Beckenham do not prevent subletting altogether – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Beckenham. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Beckenham are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Beckenham in which case you should be shopping around for a Beckenham conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.
I am attracted to a two apartments in Beckenham which have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?
A lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the value of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Beckenham. Am I liable to pay 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 ensure 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Beckenham conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Beckenham conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Beckenham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Beckenham conveyancing firm to represent me?
Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Beckenham conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Beckenham property is 26 Manor Road in July 2010. the Tribunal decided that price to be paid for the freehold was £12,420 This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired term was 76.75 and 88.83.