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Common questions relating to Goddington leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I may need to sub-let our Goddington 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Goddington conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

The lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate 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. Most leases in Goddington do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a leasehold property in Goddington. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they are sending me a report on Monday. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Goddington should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • The total extent of the premises. This will be the property itself but may include a roof space or basement if appropriate.
  • Does the lease prevent you from renting out the flat, or working from home
  • You should be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • What you can do if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Goddington please enquire of your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Goddington

  • Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold flat in Goddington. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Goddington who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

    First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Goddington conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

    I am employed by a busy estate agency in Goddington where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Goddington conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have 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 simultaneously with 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 purchaser.

    Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Goddington from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Goddington can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Goddington state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. If you dont have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • Some Goddington leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is unsettled. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • We have reached the end of our tether in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in Goddington. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    in cases where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute 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 Goddington property is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 50.57 years.