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Recently asked questions relating to Lower Clapton leasehold conveyancing

My husband and I may need to rent out our Lower Clapton ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Lower Clapton conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your previous Lower Clapton conveyancing lawyer is not around you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to seek permission from your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining permission. The consent must not not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.

I am attracted to a couple of flats in Lower Clapton both have in the region of forty five years remaining on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Lower Clapton 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 marketability of the premises. For most buyers and banks, leases with less than eighty 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 Lower Clapton 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 the agreed 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.

I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Lower Clapton where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Lower Clapton conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Lower Clapton conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Lower Clapton conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Lower Clapton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How many lease extensions has the firm completed in Lower Clapton in the last year?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Lower Clapton who can give a testimonial?

  • I am the registered owner of a two-bedroom flat in Lower Clapton. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    if there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to assess the amount due.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Lower Clapton residence is 104 Nightingale Road in May 2009. The Tribunal's Decision is that the premium torbe paid for the enfranchisement in this case is £112,174 This case was in relation to 10 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 71.25 years.

    What are the frequently found deficiencies that you witness in leases for Lower Clapton properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Lower Clapton is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.