Top Five Questions relating to Bermondsey leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to let out our Bermondsey basement flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Bermondsey conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Your lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Bermondsey do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I have recently realised that I have 68 years left on my lease in Bermondsey. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What should I do?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Bermondsey.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Bermondsey. Do I have any liability for 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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Bermondsey conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Bermondsey conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Bermondsey conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How many lease extensions have they conducted in Bermondsey in the last twenty four months?
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Bermondsey with the aim of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bermondsey can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
- The majority landlords or Management Companies in Bermondsey levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bermondsey.
My wife and I have hit a brick wall in negotiating a lease extension in Bermondsey. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Bermondsey conveyancing firm who can help.
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 affected 41 flats. The unexpired term was 107 years.