Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Chinatown
My husband and I may need to sub-let our Chinatown 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Chinatown conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Chinatown do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse 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 consent.
I have recently realised that I have Seventy years remaining on my flat in Chinatown. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What should I do?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent would be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Chinatown.
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Chinatown.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
It best that you clear the invoice 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Chinatown. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Chinatown with the intention of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chinatown can be avoided where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers solicitors.
- Many freeholders or Management Companies in Chinatown charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover 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 obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Chinatown.
Notwithstanding our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Chinatown. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
if there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Chinatown flat is 36 New Wanstead in August 2010. The Tribunal arrived at a valuation of the premium for the freehold of £22,359. This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 73.92 years.