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Recently asked questions relating to Becontree Heath leasehold conveyancing

I would like to sublet my leasehold apartment in Becontree Heath. 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 freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is banned, 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 Becontree Heath do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.

I have recently realised that I have 72 years left on my lease in Becontree Heath. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What should I do?

On the basis that 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 mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Becontree Heath.

I own a leasehold house in Becontree Heath. Conveyancing and The Mortgage Works mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Becontree Heath who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Becontree Heath conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Becontree Heath both have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Becontree Heath is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Becontree Heath conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Becontree Heath where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Becontree Heath conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. 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.

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 buyer.

I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Becontree Heath conveyancing firm to help?

if there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the price payable.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Becontree Heath residence is 49 Aldborough Road South in July 2012. The Tribunal decided that the premium payable for the grant of the new lease was £13,925 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 61.36 years.