Questions and Answers: Hampton Wick leasehold conveyancing
I wish to let out my leasehold apartment in Hampton Wick. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
Some leases for properties in Hampton Wick do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests 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 permission.
I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Hampton Wick.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is discharge 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Hampton Wick. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Hampton Wick ?
Most houses in Hampton Wick are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Hampton Wick in which case you should be shopping around for a Hampton Wick conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Hampton Wick. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. A critical element 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 a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Hampton Wick where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Hampton Wick conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. This means that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. 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 sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Hampton Wick conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Hampton Wick conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Hampton Wick premises 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.