Hampton Wick leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Hampton Wick garden flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Hampton Wick conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Hampton Wick conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you need to seek permission from your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
There are only 68 years left on my lease in Hampton Wick. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Hampton Wick.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Hampton Wick. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Hampton Wick ?
Most houses in Hampton Wick are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with 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 have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First 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 obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Hampton Wick conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hampton Wick conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Hampton Wick conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
I am the proprietor of a garden flat in Hampton Wick. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum payable for a lease extension?
Most certainly. 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.
Are there frequently found deficiencies that you witness in leases for Hampton Wick properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Hampton Wick. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, The Mortgage Works, and TSB all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.