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Questions and Answers: Brondesbury leasehold conveyancing

My fiance and I may need to sub-let our Brondesbury 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Brondesbury conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to 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 permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold 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.

Back In 2004, I bought a leasehold flat in Brondesbury. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Brondesbury who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Brondesbury conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am attracted to a two apartments in Brondesbury both have about forty five years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are plenty of short leases in Brondesbury. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area

I am employed by a long established estate agency in Brondesbury where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Brondesbury conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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 sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Brondesbury conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Brondesbury conveyancing firm) it is essential 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 Brondesbury conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in Brondesbury in the last 12 months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Brondesbury who can give a testimonial?

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Brondesbury conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    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 decision 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 49.26 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Brondesbury