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Top Five Questions relating to Elmers End leasehold conveyancing

My partner and I may need to rent out our Elmers End basement flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Elmers End conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

A lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will indicate 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 allowed. Most leases in Elmers End do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision 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 tenancy agreement.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years left on my lease in Elmers End. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent may be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Elmers End.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Elmers End conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Elmers End conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Elmers End conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £150000 maisonette in Elmers End in just under a week. The management company has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Elmers End?

    Elmers End conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often necessitates the buyer’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Elmers End conveyancing firm to help?

    Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Elmers End conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Elmers End property is Flats 55, 67 & 70 Melbourne Court Anerley Road in July 2013. The tribunal calculated that the premium for the extended lease at £48,366.00 for at 55, and £88,329.00 for ats 67 and 70 combined. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 26.38 years.

    What are the common deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Elmers End properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Elmers End. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Barnsley Building Society, and TSB all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Elmers End