North Ockendon leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
My wife and I may need to sub-let our North Ockendon basement flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a North Ockendon conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in North Ockendon do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in North Ockendon.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is clear the service charge 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 until 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 hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in North Ockendon. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in North Ockendon are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in North Ockendon in which case you should be looking for a North Ockendon conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.
Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold flat in North Ockendon. Conveyancing and Barclays mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in North Ockendon who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a North Ockendon conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a North Ockendon conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a North Ockendon conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non North Ockendon conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in North Ockendon in the last year?
Notwithstanding our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in negotiating a lease extension in North Ockendon. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a North Ockendon conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a North Ockendon premises is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 57.5 years.