Norbiton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Norbiton garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Norbiton conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Norbiton do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates 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.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in Norbiton.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you discharge 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 management companies 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Norbiton which have about forty five years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are plenty of short leases in Norbiton. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to extend the lease term. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Norbiton. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. A critical element 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Norbiton conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Norbiton conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Norbiton conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Norbiton in the last 12 months?
After years of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Norbiton. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
in cases where there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Norbiton flat is Flat D 15 Claremont Gardens in September 2013. TheTribunal determined in accordance with section48 and Schedule13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty seven pounds (£14,187.00) This case related to 1 flat.