Sample questions relating to Notting Hill leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Notting Hill garden flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Notting Hill conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Even though your last Notting Hill conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to obtain consent from your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. The consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Notting Hill. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Notting Hill are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Notting Hill in which case you should be shopping around for a Notting Hill conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder 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 maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am attracted to a couple of flats in Notting Hill which have about fifty years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Notting Hill is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive 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 a residence 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 Notting Hill 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 the agreed 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Notting Hill. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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. It is an essential part 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).
I work for a long established estate agency in Notting Hill where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Notting Hill conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as 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 can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Notting Hill conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
in cases where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to make a decision on the price.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Notting Hill residence is 2 Grove House 95 Addison Road in October 2013. the Tribunal decided that the premium to bepaid for a new lease is £50,050. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 68.4 years.