Questions and Answers: Hanworth leasehold conveyancing
I wish to sublet my leasehold flat in Hanworth. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
Your lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Hanworth do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Hanworth.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the service charge 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 unless 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.
Back In 2008, I bought a leasehold house in Hanworth. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Hanworth who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Hanworth conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Hanworth. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. A critical element 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).
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Hanworth where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Hanworth conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser 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 simultaneously with 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.
I own a second floor flat in Hanworth. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?
Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Hanworth conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Hanworth premises is 147 Redford Close in June 2012. The Tribunal determined the lease extension premium to be at £4,200 This case affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 82.93 years.