Common questions relating to Keston leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to rent out our Keston basement flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Keston conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Keston do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.
There are only Fifty years unexpired on my flat in Keston. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What should I do?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Keston.
I own a leasehold flat in Keston. Conveyancing and TSB mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Keston who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Keston conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am attracted to a couple of flats in Keston both have in the region of fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Keston is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. 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 a residence 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 Keston 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new 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.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Keston from the perspective of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Keston can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
- A minority of Keston leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 lawyers.
I am the registered owner of a garden flat in Keston. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Keston residence is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 50.57 years.