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Recently asked questions relating to Nunhead leasehold conveyancing

My partner and I may need to rent out our Nunhead basement flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Nunhead conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Even though your last Nunhead conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you must obtain consent from your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without prior permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

Looking forward to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Nunhead. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they are sending me a report tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • 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
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • What you can do if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Nunhead please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Nunhead

  • I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Nunhead which have in the region of fifty years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

    There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Nunhead is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. 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 premises 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 property 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 Nunhead conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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.

    I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Nunhead. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

    In a situation 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. However, 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).

    I work for a long established estate agency in Nunhead where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Nunhead conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor 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. This means 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 before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

    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 purchaser.

    Having spent months of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Nunhead. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Nunhead conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Nunhead property is 41 Endwell Road in March 2013. this matter relateed to the acquisition of the freehold of a mid- terraced Victorian house converted into three separate self-contained dwellings. By an order dated 28/11/2012, Deputy District Judge Cole in the Bromley County Court held that the leaseholders were entitled to acquire the freehold and directed that the premium payable be determined by this Tribunal. The Tribunal assessed the premium to be £14,753 This case affected 3 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 80.01 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Nunhead