Questions and Answers: Grove Park leasehold conveyancing
I am intending to rent out my leasehold apartment in Grove Park. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Your lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Grove Park do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years left on my lease in Grove Park. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?
On the basis that 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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent would be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Grove Park.
I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Grove Park.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is discharge 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've recently bought a leasehold house in Grove 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 owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Grove Park conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Grove Park conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Grove Park conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- What volume of lease extensions have they completed in Grove Park in the last twenty four months?
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Grove Park conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to judgment on the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Grove Park premises is 49 Woodstock Court Burnt Ash Hill in May 2012. the payment of £64,116 by the leaseholder was the premium which the Tribunal found due for the lease extension in this case. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 23.26 years.