Paddington leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Paddington garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Paddington conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A lease governs relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Paddington do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I have recently realised that I have Seventy years remaining on my lease in Paddington. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. For most situations a specialist should be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Paddington.
Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold house in Paddington. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Paddington who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Paddington conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Paddington conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Paddington conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Paddington conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Paddington with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Paddington can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
- Many freeholders or Management Companies in Paddington levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Paddington.
I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Paddington. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Paddington conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Paddington premises is Flats 37 & 39 88/90 Portland Place in December 2010. The Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the lease extensions in respect of these two flats is as follows:- For Flat 37, the sum of £385,230.00 For Flat 39, the sum of £436,780.00 This case affected 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 24.02 years.