Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Cranham

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Sample questions relating to Cranham leasehold conveyancing

My fiance and I may need to let out our Cranham ground floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Cranham conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Your lease governs relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Cranham do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.

I own a leasehold flat in Cranham. Conveyancing and Virgin Money mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Cranham who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Cranham conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Cranham. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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 am employed by a busy estate agent office in Cranham where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Cranham conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Cranham with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cranham can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Cranham leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. Should you dont have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer first.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a new share certificate is often a time consuming process and slows down many a Cranham conveyancing transaction. If a new share certificate is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Following years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Cranham. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    if there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the LVT to determine the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Cranham property 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 affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 57.5 years.