Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Cricklewood:

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Top Five Questions relating to Cricklewood leasehold conveyancing

My husband and I may need to sub-let our Cricklewood garden flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Cricklewood conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Cricklewood do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. 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 consent.

I only have Fifty years left on my flat in Cricklewood. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?

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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to locate the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. 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 Cricklewood.

Back In 2007, I bought a leasehold flat in Cricklewood. Conveyancing and Barnsley Building Society mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Cricklewood who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Cricklewood conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Cricklewood. Do I have any liability for 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).

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Cricklewood conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Cricklewood conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Cricklewood conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Cricklewood who can give a testimonial?

  • I inherited a ground-floor 1960’s flat in Cricklewood. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for a lease extension?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute 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 calculate the price payable.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Cricklewood property is 73 and 73a St. Pauls Avenue in October 2013. the Tribunal held in accordance with section32 and Schedule 6 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the enfranchisement was fifty three thousand three hundred and sixty one pounds (£53,361.00) This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 64.61 and 67.18.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Cricklewood