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Gallows Corner leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

My husband and I may need to rent out our Gallows Corner basement flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Gallows Corner conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your last Gallows Corner conveyancing solicitor is not available you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you must obtain permission via your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. The consent must not not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I have just started marketing my basement flat in Gallows Corner.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is clear the service charge 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 management companies 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I own a leasehold flat in Gallows Corner. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Gallows Corner who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Gallows Corner conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a two flats in Gallows Corner both have approximately 50 years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Gallows Corner is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 property 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 Gallows Corner 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 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.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Gallows Corner where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Gallows Corner conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 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 at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.

I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Gallows Corner conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

in cases where there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to judgment on the price payable.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Gallows Corner property is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 57.5 years.