Frequently asked questions relating to Eltham leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to sub-let our Eltham ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Eltham conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Eltham do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.
I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Eltham.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the service charge 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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.
I own a leasehold house in Eltham. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Eltham who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
First contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Eltham conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am employed by a busy estate agency in Eltham where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Eltham conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Eltham conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Eltham conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Eltham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I am the registered owner of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Eltham. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?
Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Eltham conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Eltham residence is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case was in relation to 1 flat.