Questions and Answers: Elephant and Castle leasehold conveyancing
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to let out our Elephant and Castle garden flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Elephant and Castle conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed 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?
A small minority of properties in Elephant and Castle do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates 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.
I own a leasehold flat in Elephant and Castle. Conveyancing and Virgin Money mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Elephant and Castle who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Elephant and Castle conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Elephant and Castle both have about fifty years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the value of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is advisable to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Elephant and Castle conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Elephant and Castle conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Elephant and Castle conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Elephant and Castle. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Elephant and Castle conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Elephant and Castle premises is Ground Floor Flat 39 Bronsart Road in May 2010. Following a vesting order by West London County Court the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal concluded that the price to be paid for the extended lease of the premises was Thirteen Thousand Two hundred pounds (£13,200) in accordance with the valuation. The extended lease was granted for a term of 90 years from the expiry date of the Lease and at a peppercorn ground rent from the date of the vesting order. This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 74.77 years.
Are there common defects that you encounter in leases for Elephant and Castle properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Elephant and Castle is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain sections are not included. 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
- 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 could have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Coventry Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.