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Questions and Answers: Elmstead leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Elmstead. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Elmstead - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Elmstead 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Elmstead conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Elmstead do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Elmstead.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

Back In 2004, I bought a leasehold flat in Elmstead. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Elmstead who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Elmstead conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Completion in due on our sale of a £375000 garden flat in Elmstead on Friday in a week. The management company has quoted £336 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Elmstead?

Elmstead conveyancing on leasehold flats normally necessitates the buyer’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions most will be willing to do so. They may invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

I inherited a a ground floor purpose built flat in Elmstead. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?

You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Elmstead conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Elmstead premises is 70 Andace Park Gardens 133-149 Widmore Road in November 2013. Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the lease extension was £10,052 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 72 years.