Questions and Answers: Eden Park leasehold conveyancing
Jane (my partner) and I may need to let out our Eden Park garden flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Eden Park conveyancing firm in 2001 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?
Your lease governs relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Eden Park do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Eden Park. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Eden Park ?
The majority of houses in Eden Park are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Eden Park so you should seriously consider looking for a Eden Park conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Eden Park. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. However, 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 work for a long established estate agency in Eden Park where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Eden Park conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer 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 prior to, or simultaneously with 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 are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Eden Park conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Eden Park conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Eden Park conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
I am the leaseholder of a basement flat in Eden Park. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?
Where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Eden Park property is 26 Manor Road in July 2010. the Tribunal decided that price to be paid for the freehold was £12,420 This case was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 76.75 and 88.83.