Sample questions relating to Bexley leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to sub-let our Bexley basement flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Bexley conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Bexley do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests 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 consent.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Bexley. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Bexley are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Bexley in which case you should be looking for a Bexley conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.
I am looking at a couple of flats in Bexley both have in the region of forty five years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Bexley is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat 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 Bexley 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 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 agent office in Bexley where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Bexley conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as 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 advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Bexley conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Bexley conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Bexley conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in Bexley in the last year?
My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in Bexley. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Bexley premises is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case was in relation to 1 flat.