Manor House leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to rent out our Manor House basement flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Manor House conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Manor House conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the premises. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must obtain consent via your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without prior permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years remaining on my lease in Manor House. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. In some cases a specialist should be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Manor House.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Manor House. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation 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. However, 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 be sure 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 busy estate agency in Manor House where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Manor House conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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.
Completion in due on our sale of a £450000 apartment in Manor House next week. The freeholder has quoted £324 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Manor House?
Manor House conveyancing on leasehold flats often requires the buyer’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it exceeds £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Manor House conveyancing firm to help?
Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Manor House conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Manor House property is 51 Lorne Road in November 2009. The price Payable as decided by the tribunal for the freehold reversion was £27,000. The valuation follows the order of the County Court made on 3 April 2008 granting a vesting order. This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 71 years.