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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Downham

I am intending to rent out my leasehold flat in Downham. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

The lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Downham do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.

I own a leasehold house in Downham. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Downham who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Downham 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 legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am looking at a two flats in Downham which have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?

A lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the value of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field

I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Downham where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Downham conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with 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 purchaser.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Downham conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Downham conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Downham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Downham in the last year?

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a Downham conveyancing firm to represent me?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the amount due.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Downham flat is Ravensbourne Lodge 4 Highland Road in February 2013. the Tribunal held that the amount payable for the freehold was £22,268

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Downham