Common questions relating to Crayford leasehold conveyancing
Jane (my partner) and I may need to let out our Crayford 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Crayford conveyancing practice in 2004 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?
Some leases for properties in Crayford do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to 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 permission.
I only have Fifty years remaining on my lease in Crayford. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent may be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Crayford.
I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Crayford where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Crayford conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
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 has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Crayford conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Crayford conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Crayford conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in Crayford in the last 12 months?
I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Crayford. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Crayford conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Crayford property is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case affected 13 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 76 years.
What makes a Crayford lease unmortgageable?
Leasehold conveyancing in Crayford is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.