Questions and Answers: Brunswick Park leasehold conveyancing
My husband and I may need to sub-let our Brunswick Park basement flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Brunswick Park conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Brunswick Park 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 dictates 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 consent.
Looking forward to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Brunswick Park. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they are sending me a report on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Brunswick Park should include some of the following:
- The total extent of the demise. This will be the apartment itself but may include a loft or cellar if appropriate.
I am attracted to a two flats in Brunswick Park which have approximately forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Brunswick Park is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Brunswick Park conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Brunswick Park where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Brunswick Park conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
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 buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with 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 purchaser.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £175000 maisonette in Brunswick Park on Wednesday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Brunswick Park?
Brunswick Park conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Brunswick Park conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Brunswick Park premises is 23 Beaconsfield Road in July 2013. The Tribunals decided that the amount payable was £31,203 for the freehold. This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired term was 70.31 years.