Top Five Questions relating to Belmont leasehold conveyancing
My fiance and I may need to let out our Belmont ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Belmont conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your previous Belmont conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the premises. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek consent from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.
Back In 2004, I bought a leasehold flat in Belmont. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Belmont who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Belmont conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful 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 couple of flats in Belmont which have approximately forty five years left on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Belmont is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 a residence 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 Belmont 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 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 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 Belmont where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Belmont conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start 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 before, or simultaneously with 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Belmont conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Belmont conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Belmont conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
I am the proprietor of a first floor flat in Belmont. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Belmont conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Belmont residence is 197 Byron Road in March 2013. In relation to the value of the extended lease the tribunal concluded that the appropriate premium should be £19237 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 70.92 years.