Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Rotherhithe

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Sample questions relating to Rotherhithe leasehold conveyancing

I want to sublet my leasehold flat in Rotherhithe. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

A lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Rotherhithe do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.

I have recently realised that I have Fifty years left on my lease in Rotherhithe. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. On the whole a specialist would be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Rotherhithe.

I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Rotherhithe which have approximately 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Rotherhithe 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 salability of the premises. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more positive 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 premises 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 Rotherhithe conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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.

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

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 ensure 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).

We expect to complete the disposal of our £200000 maisonette in Rotherhithe next week. The landlords agents has quoted £324 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Rotherhithe?

Rotherhithe conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not requires the purchaser’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is above £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

Despite our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Rotherhithe. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the LVT to make a decision on the price.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Rotherhithe property is 12, 14 & 16 Hull Close in May 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the acquisition of the freehold to the subject premises was the sum of £18,300 This case affected 3 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 101.61 years.