Frequently asked questions relating to Custom House leasehold conveyancing
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Custom House garden flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Custom House conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Custom House do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.
I only have 72 years unexpired on my flat in Custom House. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. On the whole a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Custom House.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Custom House. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Custom House ?
Most houses in Custom House are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Custom House in which case you should be looking for a Custom House conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Custom House. Conveyancing and Birmingham Midshires 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 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Custom House who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Custom House 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 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Custom House conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Custom House conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Custom House conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Custom House who can give a testimonial?
We have reached the end of our tether in negotiating a lease extension in Custom House. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Custom House conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Custom House flat is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 69.77 years.