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Recently asked questions relating to Grove Park leasehold conveyancing

I wish to let 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 dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will indicate 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 subletting altogether – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold house in Grove Park. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Grove Park who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Grove Park conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Grove Park where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Grove Park conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 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 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Grove Park from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Grove Park can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Grove Park leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. If you dont have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • Some Grove Park leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming process and delays many a Grove Park home move. If a new share is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £325000 garden flat in Grove Park on Friday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Grove Park?

    For most leasehold sales in Grove Park conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Grove Park
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Grove Park leasehold premises is £350. For Grove Park conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide answers.

    Having spent months of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Grove Park. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Grove Park conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision 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 unexpired term was 23.26 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Grove Park