Fitzrovia leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries
I want to sublet my leasehold apartment in Fitzrovia. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Your lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Fitzrovia do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Fitzrovia where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Fitzrovia conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Fitzrovia conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Fitzrovia conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Fitzrovia conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £500000 flat in Fitzrovia next Wednesday . The landlords agents has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Fitzrovia?
Fitzrovia conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally requires the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is above £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Fitzrovia conveyancing firm to represent me?
Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Fitzrovia property is 20 Avonwick Road in July 2013. The Tribunal was dealing with an application under Section 26 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 for a determination of the freehold value of the property. It was concluded that the price to be paid was Fifteen Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy (£15,970) divided as to £8,200 for Flat 20 and £7,770 for Flat 20A This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 73.26 years.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Fitzrovia what are the most frequent lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Fitzrovia. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- 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 primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Virgin Money, and Nottingham Building Society 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 does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.