Top Five Questions relating to Brentford leasehold conveyancing
Jane (my partner) and I may need to rent out our Brentford 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Brentford conveyancing firm in 2001 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?
A small minority of properties in Brentford 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 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.
There are only 62 years unexpired on my lease in Brentford. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Brentford.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Brentford.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
It best that you discharge the service charge 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Brentford both have in the region of forty five years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Brentford is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 premises 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 property 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 Brentford 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 any new 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.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Brentford from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Brentford can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers representatives.
- The majority landlords or managing agents in Brentford charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Brentford.
I am the registered owner of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Brentford. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum payable for the purchase of the freehold?
Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to assess the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Brentford property is 105 & 105A Seaford Road in July 2013. The tribunal determined that the price payable for the freehold interest in the Property was £43,985 . This sum was to be paid into Brentford County Court to enable the matter to proceed This case related to 2 flats.