Questions and Answers: Pratt's Bottom leasehold conveyancing
I would like to sublet my leasehold flat in Pratt's Bottom. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Some leases for properties in Pratt's Bottom do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests 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 seems to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Pratt's Bottom. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Pratt's Bottom ?
Most houses in Pratt's Bottom are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Pratt's Bottom so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Pratt's Bottom conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am looking at a two flats in Pratt's Bottom both have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Pratt's Bottom is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 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 Pratt's Bottom conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed 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 work for a reputable estate agent office in Pratt's Bottom where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Pratt's Bottom conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 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.
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Pratt's Bottom from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Pratt's Bottom can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
- Many freeholders or Management Companies in Pratt's Bottom levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Pratt's Bottom.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a Pratt's Bottom conveyancing firm to represent me?
if there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the price.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Pratt's Bottom premises is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 50.57 years.