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Top Five Questions relating to Morden leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to rent out my leasehold apartment in Morden. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Even though your previous Morden conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to obtain consent via your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years unexpired on my flat in Morden. I now wish to get lease extension 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. For most situations a specialist should be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare 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 investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Morden.

I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Morden both have in the region of fifty years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Morden is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than 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 property 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 Morden conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Morden conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Morden conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Morden conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Morden who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Morden with the intention of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Morden can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Morden levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Morden.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Morden state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. If you dont have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer in the first instance.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and frustrates many a Morden conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Following months of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Morden. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Morden conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Morden flat is 14 Nutwell Street in January 2014. The premium payable for the acquisition of a new lease of the subject premises was in the sum of £30,523 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 62.94 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Morden