Questions and Answers: Hillingdon leasehold conveyancing
I wish to sublet my leasehold flat in Hillingdon. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Even though your last Hillingdon conveyancing solicitor is not around you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek permission via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior permission. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.
Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold house in Hillingdon. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in Hillingdon who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Hillingdon conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured 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've recently bought a leasehold flat in Hillingdon. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. It is an essential part 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 employed by a long established estate agent office in Hillingdon where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Hillingdon conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that 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. The benefit of this is 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 has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hillingdon from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hillingdon can be reduced where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
- Many freeholders or Management Companies in Hillingdon levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hillingdon.
Having spent months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Hillingdon. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
if there is a absentee freeholder 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 First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Hillingdon property is 164 Nestles Avenue in October 2013. The tribunal agreed with the proposed price of £20,158 for the freehold and determined that that sum is the amount to be paid into court This case was in relation to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 69 years.