Questions and Answers: Kensal Green leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to rent out our Kensal Green ground floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Kensal Green conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Your lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Kensal Green do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years left on my flat in Kensal Green. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. For most situations a specialist would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Kensal Green.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Kensal Green. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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 work for a busy estate agency in Kensal Green where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Kensal Green conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed 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 buyer.
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Kensal Green with the intention of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Kensal Green can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
- Many freeholders or Management Companies in Kensal Green levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Kensal Green.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Kensal Green conveyancing firm to help?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to determine the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Kensal Green property is 85A Chevening Road in August 2013. the Tribunals conclusions resulted in a payment of a premium for the new lease in the sum of £11,211 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 84.34 years.