Castelnau leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
My fiance and I may need to sub-let our Castelnau garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Castelnau conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Castelnau conveyancing solicitor is not around you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you need to obtain permission via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior permission. Such consent must not not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I’m about to sell my ground floor flat in Castelnau.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Castelnau. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Castelnau ?
Most houses in Castelnau are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Castelnau in which case you should be looking for a Castelnau conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Castelnau. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, 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).
I work for a long established estate agency in Castelnau where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Castelnau conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
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 buyer can avoid having 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 purchaser.
Following months of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Castelnau. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to arrive at the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Castelnau residence is 19 Crisp Road in June 2009. Following a vesting order (Under section 26 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993) The tribunal determined that the premium payable for the acquisition of the freehold was £33,756,apportioned as to£12,285 for the lower at and £21,471for the upper fat. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 68.32 years.