Common questions relating to Lee leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to sub-let our Lee garden flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Lee conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Lee conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain consent via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. The consent must not not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I have recently realised that I have Seventy years unexpired on my lease in Lee. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. In some cases a specialist should be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Lee.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Lee. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Lee ?
The majority of houses in Lee are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Lee so you should seriously consider looking for a Lee conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.
I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Lee which have approximately 50 years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease reduces and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is advisable to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Lee. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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).
Having spent months of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Lee. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the price payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Lee property is 18 Handen Road in April 2013. On 26 October 2012 District Judge Zimmels sitting at the Lambeth County Court made a Vesting Order that the Applicants be granted the right to acquire the freehold upon such terms and at such price determined by the LVT. The Tribunal arrived a figure of £39,535 as a valuation for the enfranchisement. This case was in relation to 3 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 69.05 years.