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Top Five Questions relating to Forest Hill leasehold conveyancing

I would like to sublet my leasehold apartment in Forest Hill. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Even though your last Forest Hill conveyancing lawyer is not around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must seek consent from your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without prior consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I have recently realised that I have Seventy years left on my flat in Forest Hill. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. For most situations a specialist would be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Forest Hill.

I’m about to sell my basement flat in Forest Hill.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Forest Hill. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Forest Hill who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Forest Hill conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Forest Hill which have approximately 50 years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Forest Hill is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most buyers and lenders, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Forest Hill conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Following years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Forest Hill. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Forest Hill conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Forest Hill premises is Flat 1 40-42 Ewelme Road in August 2012. the Tribunal assessed the premium for the lease extension in the sum of £11,800 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 61.81 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Forest Hill