Common questions relating to Chiswick leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to let out our Chiswick ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Chiswick conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Chiswick do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Chiswick. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Chiswick who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Chiswick conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Chiswick both have approximately forty five years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Chiswick is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 property 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 property 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 Chiswick 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 any new 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Chiswick. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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).
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Chiswick conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to calculate the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Chiswick premises is Flat 1 30 Ennismore Avenue in September 2010. the Tribunal adopted and arrived at a premium for the lease extension of £29, 900 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 68.34 years.
Are there common defects that you witness in leases for Chiswick properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Chiswick. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, Leeds Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed conveyancing instructions 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 purchaser to withdraw.