Common questions relating to Biggin Hill leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to let out our Biggin Hill ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Biggin Hill conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Biggin Hill do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.
I’m about to sell my garden flat in Biggin Hill.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am attracted to a couple of flats in Biggin Hill both have in the region of forty five years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease shortens the value of the lease reduces and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Biggin Hill. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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 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 Biggin Hill conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Biggin Hill conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Biggin Hill 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:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
I am the registered owner of a basement flat in Biggin Hill. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum payable for a lease extension?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where 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 LVT to decide the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Biggin Hill residence is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 50.57 years.