Putney leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
My partner and I may need to sub-let our Putney 1st floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Putney conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Putney do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review 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 consent.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Putney. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Putney ?
Most houses in Putney are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Putney in which case you should be shopping around for a Putney conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.
I own a leasehold flat in Putney. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Putney who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Putney conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Putney. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. 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 am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Putney where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Putney conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Putney conveyancing firm to help?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Putney flat is 19 St. Margarets Crescent in August 2010. the tribunal was of the view that the premium to be paid by the leaseholder for the freehold reversion was £51,983.00 This case affected 3 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 66.25 years.