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Sample questions relating to Newington leasehold conveyancing

Jane (my partner) and I may need to sub-let our Newington ground floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Newington conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your last Newington conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek consent via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without prior permission. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I’m about to sell my ground floor flat in Newington.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you pay the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Newington where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Newington conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer 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 sale.

An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Newington from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Newington can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers representatives.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Newington 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 pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Newington.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Newington leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. If you dont have the approvals to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor in the first instance.
  • A minority of Newington leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a Newington home move. Where a reissued share certificate is required, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • All being well we will complete our sale of a £500000 flat in Newington next week. The freeholder has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Newington?

    For most leasehold sales in Newington conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Completing pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Newington
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Newington leasehold premises is £350. For Newington conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to supply answers.

    We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Newington. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Newington conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Newington residence is 1-41 Royal Tower Lodge 40 Cartwright Street in April 2013. the tribunal adding the agreed value of capitalised ground rents and the reversion the price to be paid for the freehold was £1,187,000 This case was in relation to 41 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 107 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Newington