Frequently asked questions relating to Seven Sisters leasehold conveyancing
I am intending to let out my leasehold apartment in Seven Sisters. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A small minority of properties in Seven Sisters do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to 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 consent.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Seven Sisters. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. It is an essential part 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).
I work for a reputable estate agency in Seven Sisters where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Seven Sisters conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
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. This means that the buyer 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 prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Seven Sisters from the point of view of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Seven Sisters can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Seven Sisters state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. If you dont have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £450000 apartment in Seven Sisters on Tuesday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £420 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Seven Sisters?
Seven Sisters conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not involves the buyer’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions most will be content to assist. They may levy a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Seven Sisters conveyancing firm to assist?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Seven Sisters conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Seven Sisters property is 22 Wakefield Road in January 2012. Following a vesting order Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court under section 26 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 on 9th May 2011 the Tribunal decided that the price that the Applicant for the freehold interest should pay is £17,400 This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 74.13 years.