New Southgate leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I wish to sublet my leasehold flat in New Southgate. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?
The lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in New Southgate do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.
There are only 62 years unexpired on my flat in New Southgate. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering New Southgate.
I own a leasehold house in New Southgate. Conveyancing and Skipton Building Society mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in New Southgate who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a New Southgate conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in New Southgate. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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 ensure 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 work for a reputable estate agent office in New Southgate where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local New Southgate conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 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 sale.
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 buyer.
Notwithstanding our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in New Southgate. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to make a decision on the price payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a New Southgate flat is 23 Beaconsfield Road in July 2013. The Tribunals decided that the amount payable was £31,203 for the freehold. This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 70.31 years.