Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Pentonville

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Recently asked questions relating to Pentonville leasehold conveyancing

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to rent out our Pentonville garden flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Pentonville conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Pentonville do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 permission.

I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Pentonville. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Pentonville ?

Most houses in Pentonville are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Pentonville in which case you should be looking for a Pentonville conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.

I own a leasehold flat in Pentonville. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Pentonville 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 in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Pentonville 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 rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Pentonville. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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).

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Pentonville from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Pentonville can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Pentonville charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Pentonville.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Pentonville state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you dont have the consents in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer first.
  • A minority of Pentonville leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.

  • After months of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Pentonville. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    if there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Pentonville property is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 66.8 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Pentonville