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Questions and Answers: Holland Park leasehold conveyancing

My fiance and I may need to rent out our Holland Park garden flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Holland Park conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

The lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Holland Park do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Holland Park. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they report fully next week. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Holland Park should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • Does the lease prevent you from subletting the property, or having a home office for business
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Holland Park please enquire of your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Holland Park

  • I own a leasehold flat in Holland Park. Conveyancing and The Royal Bank of Scotland mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Holland Park who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

    First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Holland Park conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

    I am attracted to a two flats in Holland Park both have approximately fifty years remaining on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

    There are plenty of short leases in Holland Park. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Holland Park from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Holland Park can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • Some Holland Park leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a new share certificate can be a time consuming formality and slows down many a Holland Park conveyancing transaction. If a new share certificate is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • We have reached the end of our tether in negotiating a lease extension in Holland Park. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Holland Park conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Holland Park flat is 93 Oakwood Court in June 2010. the LVT determined that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £492,083, This case affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 37.79 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Holland Park