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Recently asked questions relating to Gunnersbury leasehold conveyancing

I wish to let out my leasehold apartment in Gunnersbury. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Notwithstanding that your previous Gunnersbury conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to seek permission via your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without prior consent. The consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Back In 2008, I bought a leasehold flat in Gunnersbury. Conveyancing and Skipton Building Society 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. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in Gunnersbury who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Gunnersbury conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Gunnersbury. Am I liable to pay 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 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 are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Gunnersbury conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Gunnersbury conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Gunnersbury conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Gunnersbury who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the charges for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Gunnersbury from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Gunnersbury can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • The majority landlords or managing agents in Gunnersbury levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have 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 cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Gunnersbury.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Gunnersbury state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. Should you dont have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I inherited a first flat in Gunnersbury. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for a lease extension?

    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 you can apply to the LVT to assess the premium.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Gunnersbury property is 169 Southfield Road in September 2013. the tribunal decided that the premium to be paid in respect of the collective enfranchisement should be £51,203 This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 64.64 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Gunnersbury