Brixton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I wish to sublet my leasehold flat in Brixton. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Even though your previous Brixton conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain permission from your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without prior permission. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
Planning to exchange soon on a studio apartment in Brixton. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they report fully tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Brixton should include some of the following:
- Defining your rights in respect of the communal areas in the block.For example, does the lease include a right of way over an accessway or staircase?
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor apartment in Brixton.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is clear 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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I work for a busy estate agency in Brixton where we see a number of flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Brixton conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Brixton conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Brixton conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Brixton conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Having spent months of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Brixton. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
if there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to decide the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Brixton property is 66 Southwell Road in March 2012. By Order of Deputy District Judge Stone dated 25 January 2012 a vesting order was made. The determination of the purchase price was referred to the Tribunal who decided that the amount payable for the freehold should be£29,612.00 This case related to 3 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 72.58 years.