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Edmonton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Edmonton garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Edmonton conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your previous Edmonton conveyancing solicitor is not around you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the premises. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain permission from your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. The consent must not not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Planning to complete next month on a leasehold property in Edmonton. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they will have a report out to me next week. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Edmonton should include some of the following:

  • The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • The total extent of the premises. This will be the apartment itself but may include a loft or basement if appropriate.
  • Defining your legal entitlements in respect of the communal areas in the building.For instance, does the lease permit a right of way over a path or hallways?
  • Are you allowed to have a pet in the flat?
  • Does the lease prevent you from renting out the flat, or working from home
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Edmonton please enquire of your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Edmonton

  • I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Edmonton. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Edmonton ?

    Most houses in Edmonton are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Edmonton in which case you should be shopping around for a Edmonton conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.

    I've recently bought a leasehold property in Edmonton. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

    In a situation 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. 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 be sure 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).

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Edmonton from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Edmonton can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Edmonton leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you fail to have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • Some Edmonton leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Edmonton home move. If a new share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I am the registered owner of a ground-floor 1950’s flat in Edmonton. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?

    if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to calculate the price.

    An example of a Vesting Order and Purchase of freehold matter before the tribunal for a Edmonton premises is Ground Floor Flat 4A Baronet Road in February 2010. Following a vesting order by Edmonton County Court on 23rd December 2008 (case number 8ED064) the Tribunal decided that the price that the Applicant for the freehold interest should pay is £8,689.00 This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 80.01 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Edmonton