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Questions and Answers: Northolt leasehold conveyancing

I would like to sublet my leasehold flat in Northolt. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

A lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Northolt do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.

Planning to sign contracts shortly on a ground floor flat in Northolt. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they are sending me a report next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Northolt should include some of the following:

  • You must be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice?
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What you can do if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Northolt please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Northolt

  • I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Northolt.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

    Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 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 tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Northolt both have approximately forty five years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

    There are plenty of short leases in Northolt. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

    I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Northolt where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Northolt conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

    Provided that 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 proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

    An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 buyer.

    I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Northolt. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Northolt conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 79 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Northolt