Questions and Answers: Ruxley leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Ruxley ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Ruxley conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Ruxley conveyancing lawyer is not available you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the premises. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek consent from your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining permission. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Ruxley. Conveyancing and Aldermore mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Ruxley who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Ruxley conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate 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 Ruxley. Am I liable to pay 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).
All being well we will complete the disposal of our £400000 apartment in Ruxley next Friday . The landlords agents has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Ruxley?
Ruxley conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not involves the purchaser’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.
I am the leaseholder of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Ruxley. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?
Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Ruxley flat is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case was in relation to 1 flat.
What makes a Ruxley lease unmortgageable?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Ruxley. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You may encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Barnsley Building Society, and TSB all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.