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Sample questions relating to Finsbury leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I may need to rent out our Finsbury 1st floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Finsbury conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

The lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Finsbury do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Finsbury. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Finsbury are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Finsbury so you should seriously consider looking for a Finsbury conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.

Back In 2008, I bought a leasehold flat in Finsbury. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Finsbury who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Finsbury conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Finsbury. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £275000 garden flat in Finsbury next Friday . The landlords agents has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Finsbury?

Finsbury conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often necessitates the buyer’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions most will be willing to assist. They may levy a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

Following months of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Finsbury. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

Where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the LVT to judgment on the sum to be paid.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Finsbury premises 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 66.8 years.