Frequently asked questions relating to Finsbury leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Finsbury basement flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Finsbury conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have closed 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 lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Finsbury do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.
There are only 68 years left on my lease in Finsbury. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent should be useful to try and locate and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Finsbury.
I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Finsbury where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Finsbury conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 purchaser.
All being well we will complete the disposal of our £500000 flat in Finsbury next week. The management company has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Finsbury?
For most leasehold sales in Finsbury conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :
- Completing pre-contract questions
- Where consent is required before sale in Finsbury
- Copies of the building insurance and schedule
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can a leaseholder make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Finsbury conveyancing firm to assist?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Finsbury conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Finsbury property is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 66.8 years.
Are there frequently found deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Finsbury properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Finsbury. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
- 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
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , Leeds Building Society, and Aldermore all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.