Top Five Questions relating to Downe leasehold conveyancing
I want to rent out my leasehold flat in Downe. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?
Even though your last Downe conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the property. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain consent from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without prior consent. Such consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.
There are only 62 years left on my flat in Downe. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. For most situations a specialist may be useful to try and locate and prepare a report to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Downe.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Downe both have approximately 50 years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are plenty of short leases in Downe. The lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Downe. 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 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. A critical element 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 inherited a garden flat in Downe. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?
Where there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to make a decision on the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Downe residence 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 related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 50.57 years.
What makes a Downe lease unmortgageable?
Leasehold conveyancing in Downe is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Coventry Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.