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Charlton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Charlton ground floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Charlton conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Even though your last Charlton conveyancing solicitor is not available you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the premises. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must seek permission from your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without prior consent. Such consent should not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Charlton. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Charlton should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Does the lease prohibit wood flooring?
  • Whether the lease restricts you from subletting the property, or working from home
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Charlton please ask your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Charlton

  • My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Charlton. Conveyancing and Barclays Direct mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Charlton who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

    The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Charlton conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

    I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Charlton both have approximately forty five years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

    There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Charlton is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 premises 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 Charlton conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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.

    What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Charlton conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

    When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Charlton conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Charlton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

    • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Charlton in the last twenty four months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Charlton who can give a testimonial?

  • I am the proprietor of a garden flat in Charlton. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for a lease extension?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Charlton conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Charlton property is 73 Walerand Road in August 2012. the result of the findings of the Tribunal led to a premium to be paid for the extended lease in respect of Flat 73 in the sum of £10,040. The premium applicable in respect of Flat 85 was £5,710. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 72 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Charlton