Questions and Answers: Northolt leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to sub-let our Northolt garden flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Northolt conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Even though your previous Northolt conveyancing lawyer is not available you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you need to obtain consent via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. The consent must not not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from letting out the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.
Due to sign contracts shortly on a garden flat in Northolt. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they are sending me a report next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Northolt should include some of the following:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Northolt both have in the region of 50 years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Northolt is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Northolt conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Northolt. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Northolt conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Northolt conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Northolt conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Northolt who can give a testimonial?
Despite our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Northolt. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Absolutely. 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 residence 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 79 years.