Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Fulwell:

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Top Five Questions relating to Fulwell leasehold conveyancing

My partner and I may need to rent out our Fulwell 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Fulwell conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Fulwell do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

There are only 62 years remaining on my lease in Fulwell. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?

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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. On the whole a specialist may be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Fulwell.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Fulwell. Conveyancing and TSB mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Fulwell who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Fulwell conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am attracted to a two apartments in Fulwell which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Fulwell is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 Fulwell conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new 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.

I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Fulwell where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Fulwell conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

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 wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 buyer.

After months of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Fulwell. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the premium.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Fulwell property is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 60.45 years.

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Lease Extensions in Fulwell