Frequently asked questions relating to Finsbury leasehold conveyancing
I would like to sublet my leasehold flat in Finsbury. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, 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 property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years remaining on my flat in Finsbury. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent would be useful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Finsbury.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Finsbury conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Finsbury conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with several firms including non Finsbury conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Completion in due on the sale of our £275000 apartment in Finsbury on Tuesday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Finsbury?
Finsbury conveyancing on leasehold flats often involves the purchaser’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. 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 the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Finsbury conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Finsbury flat 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 related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 66.8 years.
What makes a Finsbury lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Finsbury. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Birmingham Midshires, Virgin Money, and TSB all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.