Recently asked questions relating to Chingford leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to let out our Chingford ground floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Chingford conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Your lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Chingford do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor flat in Chingford.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
It best that you pay 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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 am looking at a couple of flats in Chingford which have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
A lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Chingford where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Chingford conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 start 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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. 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 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 buyer.
I own a second floor flat in Chingford. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?
Absolutely. We can 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 premises 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 affected 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 69.26 years.
What are the frequently found defects that you come across in leases for Chingford properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Chingford is not unique. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements 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
You will have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Skipton 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 does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.