Belsize Park leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
My partner and I may need to let out our Belsize Park 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Belsize Park conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Belsize Park do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates 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.
There are only 62 years unexpired on my flat in Belsize Park. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to try and locate and to produce 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 in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Belsize Park.
I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Belsize Park. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Belsize 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 Belsize Park in which case you should be looking for a Belsize Park conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.
Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold house in Belsize Park. Conveyancing and Barclays mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Belsize Park who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Belsize Park conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £450000 apartment in Belsize Park next Tuesday . The freeholder has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Belsize Park?
Belsize Park conveyancing on leasehold flats normally requires the buyer’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They may invoice a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.
Following months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Belsize Park. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Belsize Park flat is Raised Ground Floor Flat 20 Fitzjohns Avenue in July 2014. the Tribunal decided that the premiums to be paid for new leases in respect of the Raised Ground Floor Flat and the First Floor Flat were to be calculated as: Raised Ground Floor: £765,175.14 First Floor: £601,617.77 This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 16.83 and 16.43.