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De Beauvoir Town leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I would like to sublet my leasehold flat in De Beauvoir Town. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

The lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in De Beauvoir Town do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.

There are only 72 years left on my flat in De Beauvoir Town. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?

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 extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering De Beauvoir Town.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in De Beauvoir Town. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. 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 ensure 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 agency in De Beauvoir Town where we see a few flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local De Beauvoir Town conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. 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 needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

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 advice for leasehold conveyancing in De Beauvoir Town with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in De Beauvoir Town can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • Many freeholders or managing agents in De Beauvoir Town levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in De Beauvoir Town.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in De Beauvoir Town state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. If you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor in the first instance.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Organising a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming process and slows down many a De Beauvoir Town conveyancing transaction. Where a duplicate share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a De Beauvoir Town conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a De Beauvoir Town conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a De Beauvoir Town premises is 5C Stoke Newington Road in April 2010. the Tribunal therefore concludes that the premium to be paid for the extended lease is £700.00 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 80.5 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in De Beauvoir Town