Bermondsey leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I want to sublet my leasehold apartment in Bermondsey. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?
Even though your previous Bermondsey conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain permission via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without prior permission. Such consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Bermondsey. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Bermondsey ?
Most houses in Bermondsey are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Bermondsey so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Bermondsey conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Bermondsey. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
I work for a busy estate agent office in Bermondsey where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Bermondsey conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
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 attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Bermondsey conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
Where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to calculate the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Bermondsey residence is 1-41 Royal Tower Lodge 40 Cartwright Street in April 2013. the tribunal adding the agreed value of capitalised ground rents and the reversion the price to be paid for the freehold was £1,187,000 This case related to 41 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 107 years.
What makes a Bermondsey lease problematic?
Leasehold conveyancing in Bermondsey is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.