Top Five Questions relating to Kennington leasehold conveyancing
My fiance and I may need to let out our Kennington 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Kennington conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Kennington conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to obtain permission from your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without prior consent. The consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.
There are only Fifty years unexpired on my flat in Kennington. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent may be useful to try and locate and prepare a report to be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Kennington.
I work for a busy estate agency in Kennington where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Kennington conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner 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 buyer can avoid having to wait 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 disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Kennington conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Kennington conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Kennington conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Kennington who can give a testimonial?
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Kennington. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
if there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Kennington premises is Ground Floor Flat 39 Bronsart Road in May 2010. Following a vesting order by West London County Court the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal concluded that the price to be paid for the extended lease of the premises was Thirteen Thousand Two hundred pounds (£13,200) in accordance with the valuation. The extended lease was granted for a term of 90 years from the expiry date of the Lease and at a peppercorn ground rent from the date of the vesting order. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 74.77 years.
What makes a Kennington lease unmortgageable?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Kennington. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
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. Birmingham Midshires, Chelsea Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.