Top Five Questions relating to Muswell Hill leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Muswell Hill 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Muswell Hill conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Muswell Hill do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.
I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Muswell Hill. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Muswell Hill ?
The majority of houses in Muswell Hill are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Muswell Hill so you should seriously consider looking for a Muswell Hill conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.
Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold flat in Muswell Hill. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Muswell Hill who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First contact HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Muswell Hill conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Muswell Hill. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Muswell Hill conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Muswell Hill conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Muswell Hill conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Having spent months of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Muswell Hill. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Muswell Hill conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Muswell Hill premises is Flat B 10 Grove Avenue in October 2013. Following a vesting order Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court 3rd July 2013 The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the lease extension was £36,215.00 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 65.21 years.