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Questions and Answers: Rush Green leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I may need to sub-let our Rush Green 1st floor flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Rush Green conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your previous Rush Green conveyancing lawyer is not around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain permission via your landlord or some other party before subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. The consent must not not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Rush Green. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Rush Green are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Rush Green so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Rush Green conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Rush Green which have in the region of forty five years left on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Rush Green is a wasting 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 property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 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 a residence 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 Rush Green 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 flat in Rush Green. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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 have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Rush Green conveyancing firm to help?

Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the amount due.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Rush Green property is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 57.5 years.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Rush Green what are the most frequent lease defects?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Rush Green. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
  • A duty to insure the building
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Barnsley Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Rush Green