Lisson Grove leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Frank (my husband) and I may need to sub-let our Lisson Grove 1st floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Lisson Grove conveyancing practice in 2001 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?
The lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Lisson Grove do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I only have 72 years unexpired on my lease in Lisson Grove. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder 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 extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Lisson Grove.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Lisson Grove. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Lisson Grove are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Lisson Grove in which case you should be shopping around for a Lisson Grove conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.
I am attracted to a two flats in Lisson Grove both have about forty five years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Lisson Grove is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 property 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 Lisson Grove conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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 Lisson Grove with the intention of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Lisson Grove can be avoided where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
- Some Lisson Grove leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Lisson Grove. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the price.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Lisson Grove flat is Flats 37 & 39 88/90 Portland Place in December 2010. The Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the lease extensions in respect of these two flats is as follows:- For Flat 37, the sum of £385,230.00 For Flat 39, the sum of £436,780.00 This case affected 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 24.02 years.