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Brondesbury leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

My fiance and I may need to sub-let our Brondesbury 1st floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Brondesbury conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Brondesbury do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 Brondesbury. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?

On the basis that 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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. In some cases a specialist would be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Brondesbury.

Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold house in Brondesbury. Conveyancing and The Mortgage Works mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Brondesbury who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Brondesbury conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Brondesbury from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Brondesbury can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Brondesbury levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Brondesbury.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Brondesbury state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Where you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer in the first instance.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Brondesbury conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £425000 apartment in Brondesbury in just under a week. The management company has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Brondesbury?

    Brondesbury conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not involves the purchaser’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries most will be content to assist. They are entitled charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.

    I own a basement flat in Brondesbury. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for a lease extension?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Brondesbury conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Brondesbury residence is 50a Cavendish Road in April 2014. The Tribunal determines that the premium payable by the Applicant in respect of the extension of the lease for the flat was £82,319. This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 49.26 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Brondesbury