Frequently asked questions relating to Bloomsbury leasehold conveyancing
My fiance and I may need to rent out our Bloomsbury ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Bloomsbury conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Even though your last Bloomsbury conveyancing lawyer is not around you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to seek permission via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior permission. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I have recently realised that I have 68 years unexpired on my lease in Bloomsbury. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?
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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Bloomsbury.
Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold house in Bloomsbury. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Bloomsbury who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Bloomsbury conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am looking at a couple of apartments in Bloomsbury both have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Bloomsbury is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with under 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 Bloomsbury conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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.
We have reached the end of our tether in negotiating a lease extension in Bloomsbury. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Bloomsbury conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Bloomsbury residence is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 66.8 years.
What makes a Bloomsbury lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Bloomsbury. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
- 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 will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.