Frequently asked questions relating to Havering-atte-Bower leasehold conveyancing
I am intending to sublet my leasehold flat in Havering-atte-Bower. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Some leases for properties in Havering-atte-Bower do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review 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 consent.
I only have 72 years left on my flat in Havering-atte-Bower. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What are my options?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply 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 or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. On the whole a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Havering-atte-Bower.
I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Havering-atte-Bower. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Havering-atte-Bower ?
Most houses in Havering-atte-Bower are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Havering-atte-Bower so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Havering-atte-Bower 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 unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Havering-atte-Bower. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Havering-atte-Bower who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
First contact HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Havering-atte-Bower conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I work for a long established estate agent office in Havering-atte-Bower where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Havering-atte-Bower conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Havering-atte-Bower. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
if there is a missing landlord or if 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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Havering-atte-Bower flat is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 57.5 years.