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Cranham leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I wish to sublet my leasehold apartment in Cranham. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Notwithstanding that your previous Cranham conveyancing lawyer is not around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you need to seek consent from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I have recently realised that I have 68 years left on my flat in Cranham. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Cranham.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in Cranham.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly service charge demand – 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 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Cranham from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cranham can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Cranham charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cranham.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Cranham leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Should you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Cranham conveyancing deal. If a reissued share certificate is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £425000 apartment in Cranham in just under a week. The management company has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Cranham?

    Cranham conveyancing on leasehold flats normally involves the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries the majority will be content to assist. They are at liberty levy a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Cranham conveyancing firm to assist?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Cranham conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Cranham premises is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 57.5 years.