Downe leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
My fiance and I may need to rent out our Downe ground floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Downe conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Downe do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse 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 today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Downe. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Downe are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Downe so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Downe conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold flat in Downe. Conveyancing and Nationwide Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Downe who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
First contact HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Downe conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Downe. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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).
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £350000 maisonette in Downe in 5 days. The managing agents has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Downe?
Downe conveyancing on leasehold apartments often requires the buyer’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is above £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.
Following years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Downe. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Downe conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Downe flat is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 50.57 years.