Recently asked questions relating to Bexleyheath leasehold conveyancing
Jane (my partner) and I may need to let out our Bexleyheath garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Bexleyheath conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Bexleyheath do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. 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 consent.
I have just started marketing my basement flat in Bexleyheath.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is discharge the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am looking at a two flats in Bexleyheath both have in the region of fifty years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are plenty of short leases in Bexleyheath. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Bexleyheath. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Bexleyheath conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Bexleyheath conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Bexleyheath conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in Bexleyheath. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Bexleyheath premises is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case was in relation to 13 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 76 years.