Questions and Answers: Bromley Common leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to sub-let our Bromley Common basement flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Bromley Common conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your previous Bromley Common conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to obtain consent from your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without first obtaining consent. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If your lease prohibits you from letting out the property you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years left on my lease in Bromley Common. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?
If 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Bromley Common.
I’m about to sell my garden flat in Bromley Common.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Bromley Common. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Bromley Common are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Bromley Common so you should seriously consider looking for a Bromley Common conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Bromley Common where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Bromley Common conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Bromley Common conveyancing firm to assist?
Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to decide the price.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Bromley Common property 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 related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 50.57 years.