Top Five Questions relating to Northolt leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our Northolt 1st floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Northolt conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Northolt do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 consent.
I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years unexpired on my flat in Northolt. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Northolt.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Northolt.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 managing agents 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 own a leasehold flat in Northolt. Conveyancing and Nottingham Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Northolt who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Northolt 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 rightful 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 appointing a Northolt conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Northolt conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Northolt 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 of use:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
I am the registered owner of a second floor flat in Northolt. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum payable for a lease extension?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Northolt conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Northolt flat is GFF 1 Holyrood Avenue in May 2014. The Tenant wished to acquire a new (extended) lease and applied to the Willesden County Court who granted a vesting order on 20* March2013. The Tribunal decied that the premium to be paid was £9,062 This case related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 79 years.