Common questions relating to Brixton leasehold conveyancing
I would like to let out my leasehold apartment in Brixton. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
Some leases for properties in Brixton 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 review references. Experience suggests 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 permission.
There are only Sixty One years left on my flat in Brixton. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?
On the basis that you qualify, 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 extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. On the whole a specialist would be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Brixton.
I have just started marketing my ground floor apartment in Brixton.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is 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've recently bought a leasehold flat in Brixton. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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 Brixton conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Brixton conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Brixton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
I own a garden flat in Brixton. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for a lease extension?
Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Brixton conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal 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 was in relation to 3 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 72.58 years.