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Questions and Answers: Crouch End leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to rent out my leasehold apartment in Crouch End. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Some leases for properties in Crouch End do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests 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.

Expecting to exchange soon on a garden flat in Crouch End. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Crouch End should include some of the following:

  • The physical extent of the premises. This will be the flat itself but might include a loft or cellar if applicable.
  • Defining your rights in relation to the communal areas in the block.For instance, does the lease grant a right of way over a path or hallways?
  • Does the lease require carpeting throughout thus preventing wood flooring?
  • Are you allowed to have a pet in the flat?
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Crouch End please enquire of your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Crouch End

  • I own a leasehold house in Crouch End. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Crouch End who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

    First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Crouch End conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. 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 am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Crouch End which have in the region of forty five years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

    There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Crouch End is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the property. For most buyers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 premises 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 Crouch End conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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.

    Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Crouch End with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Crouch End can be reduced if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Crouch End leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you dont have the consents to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • A minority of Crouch End leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 reveal the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Crouch End home move. Where a new share is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can a leaseholder make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Crouch End conveyancing firm to help?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Crouch End conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Crouch End premises is Flat 2A 19 Shepherds Hill in June 2014. The tribunal concluded in accordance with section 48 and schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act (the 1993 Act) that the premium payable in respect of the grant of a new lease for the Flat be £24,303 (twenty four thousand three hundred and three pounds) This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 67.85 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Crouch End