Common questions relating to Grahame Park leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our Grahame Park garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Grahame Park conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Grahame Park do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates 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 consent.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Grahame Park. Conveyancing and Virgin Money mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Grahame Park who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Grahame Park conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Grahame Park. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Grahame Park where we see a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Grahame Park conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate 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. The benefit of this is 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 needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Grahame Park with the aim of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Grahame Park can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
- Many landlords or Management Companies in Grahame Park charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Grahame Park.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a Grahame Park conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
if there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Grahame Park premises is 1 & 1A Sunningfields Crescent in September 2013. The Tribunals calculation of the amount to be paid into court in respect of the value of the freehold interest is £11,997 in respect of Flat 1 and £15,781 in respect of Flat 1A for a total of £27,778. This case affected 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 71.5 years.