Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Belgravia:

Leasehold conveyancing in Belgravia is more complex than freehold. Your home move will be smoother where you choose a lawyer with a wealth of experience of leasehold conveyancing in Belgravia and across next step up in loc. The lawyers we recommend have been approved by your lender so use our search tool to check.

Common questions relating to Belgravia leasehold conveyancing

Helen (my wife) and I may need to sub-let our Belgravia garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Belgravia conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Belgravia do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.

I only have Seventy years remaining on my lease in Belgravia. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?

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 extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. For most situations a specialist would be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Belgravia.

I am looking at a two maisonettes in Belgravia which have in the region of forty five years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Belgravia is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive 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 premises 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 Belgravia conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new 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 reputable estate agent office in Belgravia where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Belgravia conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. 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.

An alternative approach is 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.

I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Belgravia conveyancing firm to assist?

Where there is a absentee landlord or if 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 judgment on the price payable.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Belgravia property is Flat 3 47 Cadogan Square in December 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable to the landord by the leaseholder for the lease extension was £732,935 This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 13.33 years.

What makes a Belgravia lease defective?

Leasehold conveyancing in Belgravia is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and TSB all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Belgravia