Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Lambeth
Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Lambeth ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Lambeth conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Lambeth do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates 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.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years left on my flat in Lambeth. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
On the basis that 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 granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Lambeth.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Lambeth. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. 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).
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Lambeth where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Lambeth conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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.
I am the leaseholder of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Lambeth. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum payable for a lease extension?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Lambeth conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Lambeth residence is Flats 12A & 19, Evelyn Mansions Carlisle Place in June 2009. The Tribunal held that the price to be paid for the new lease of Flat 12A is £168,824, For the other flat the price was set at £169,110 This case related to 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 56 years.
What makes a Lambeth lease unacceptable for security purposes?
Leasehold conveyancing in Lambeth is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- 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
You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society 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 withdraw.