Top Five Questions relating to Downe leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to sub-let our Downe basement flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Downe conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Downe do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to 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 permission.
Due to exchange soon on a ground floor flat in Downe. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Downe should include some of the following:
- You should receive a copy of the lease
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Downe where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Downe conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having 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 agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Downe conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Downe conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Downe conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Downe in the last 12 months?
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a Downe conveyancing firm to represent me?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Downe conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Downe premises 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 50.57 years.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Downe what are the most common lease problems?
Leasehold conveyancing in Downe is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Chelsea 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 problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.