Frequently asked questions relating to Osterley leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to sub-let our Osterley garden flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Osterley conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Even though your previous Osterley conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must seek permission from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without prior consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Fifty years left on my flat in Osterley. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Osterley.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Osterley.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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 own a leasehold house in Osterley. Conveyancing and Nottingham Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Osterley who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Osterley conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Osterley. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation 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. 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).
I am the leaseholder of a ground-floor 1960’s flat in Osterley. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum payable for a lease extension?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Osterley conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Osterley residence is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 60.45 years.