Chingford leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
My husband and I may need to rent out our Chingford 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Chingford conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Even though your last Chingford conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can check your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the premises. The accepted inference is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you need to obtain permission via your landlord or some other party before subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Chingford.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 managing agents 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Chingford. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Chingford ?
The majority of houses in Chingford are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Chingford so you should seriously consider looking for a Chingford conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Chingford which have in the region of forty five years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are plenty of short leases in Chingford. The lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As a lease shortens the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
Having spent months of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Chingford. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Chingford conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Chingford property is 201 & 201a St. Barnabas Road in October 2013. The Tribunal decided that the price to be paid by the Applicants for the freehold interest is £20,071. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 69.26 years.
Are there common problems that you come across in leases for Chingford properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Chingford is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Britannia all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.