Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Ham:

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Recently asked questions relating to Ham leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I may need to rent out our Ham basement flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Ham conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Your lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Ham do not prevent subletting altogether – 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 unexpired on my flat in Ham. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Ham.

I have just started marketing my 2 bed flat in Ham.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice 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 managing agents 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Ham conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Ham conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Ham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Ham from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Ham can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • Many landlords or managing agents in Ham charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Ham.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Ham state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Should you fail to have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer before hand.
  • A minority of Ham 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 obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual 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 the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a new share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Ham home move. Where a new share certificate is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can a leaseholder make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Ham conveyancing firm to assist?

    if there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement 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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Ham residence is Flat D 15 Claremont Gardens in September 2013. TheTribunal determined in accordance with section48 and Schedule13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty seven pounds (£14,187.00) This case related to 1 flat.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Ham