Top Five Questions relating to Bedford Park leasehold conveyancing
My husband and I may need to rent out our Bedford Park ground floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Bedford Park conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Bedford Park do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 permission.
I only have Seventy years left on my lease in Bedford Park. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?
On the basis that you qualify, 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 Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. In some cases a specialist should be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Bedford Park.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Bedford Park. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Bedford Park are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Bedford Park in which case you should be shopping around for a Bedford Park conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.
I work for a reputable estate agent office in Bedford Park where we see a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Bedford Park conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser 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 has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Bedford Park conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Bedford Park conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Bedford Park conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Bedford Park who can give a testimonial?
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in Bedford Park. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the LVT to arrive at the amount due.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Bedford Park residence is 169 Southfield Road in September 2013. the tribunal decided that the premium to be paid in respect of the collective enfranchisement should be £51,203 This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 64.64 years.