Top Five Questions relating to Mayfair leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to rent out our Mayfair ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Mayfair conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Mayfair conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to obtain permission via your landlord or some other party before subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without first obtaining consent. The consent should not be unreasonably withheld. 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.
I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Mayfair where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Mayfair conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 choosing a Mayfair conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Mayfair conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Mayfair conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm completed in Mayfair in the last 12 months?
Completion in due on the sale of our £150000 flat in Mayfair next week. The management company has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Mayfair?
Mayfair conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally involves the purchaser’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries the majority will be content to assist. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has no option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I own a ground-floor 1950’s flat in Mayfair. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount payable for a lease extension?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Mayfair conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Mayfair premises is Flat 1 3 Upper Belgrave Street in December 2010. The Tribunal determined that the price payablefor the Lease extension in respect of the subject premises was £2,202,007 This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 21 years.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Mayfair what are the most common lease defects?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Mayfair. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
- 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
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Barnsley Building Society, and Clydesdale 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 provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.