Top Five Questions relating to Hornchurch leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to let out our Hornchurch ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Hornchurch conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Hornchurch do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 permission.
I am looking at a couple of apartments in Hornchurch which have approximately 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Hornchurch is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Hornchurch conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Hornchurch. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Hornchurch conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hornchurch conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Hornchurch conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Hornchurch conveyancing firm to help?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Hornchurch conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Hornchurch residence 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 term as at the valuation date was 57.5 years.
Are there frequently found defects that you come across in leases for Hornchurch properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Hornchurch is not unique. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Barnsley Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.