Sample questions relating to Chingford leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to let out our Chingford basement flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Chingford conveyancing practice 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?
A small minority of properties in Chingford do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold 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 permission.
I have recently realised that I have 72 years remaining on my flat in Chingford. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended 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. In some cases an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Chingford.
I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Chingford.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 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 maisonettes in Chingford both have approximately 50 years left on the leases. should I be concerned?
There are plenty of short leases in Chingford. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease reduces and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because 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 field
I work for a busy estate agency in Chingford where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Chingford conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that 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 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 prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
I have given up seeking a lease extension in Chingford. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement 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 make a decision on the premium.
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 affected 2 flats. The unexpired term was 69.26 years.