Notting Hill leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Jane (my partner) and I may need to rent out our Notting Hill basement flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Notting Hill conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Notting Hill do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review 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’m about to sell my garden flat in Notting Hill.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you pay 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 management companies 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold house in Notting Hill. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Notting Hill who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Notting Hill conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I work for a busy estate agent office in Notting Hill where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Notting Hill conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer 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 before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Notting Hill conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Notting Hill conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Notting Hill conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
I inherited a a ground floor purpose built flat in Notting Hill. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for a lease extension?
in cases where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Notting Hill premises 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 unexpired term was 68.4 years.