Frequently asked questions relating to Shirley leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to rent out our Shirley ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Shirley conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Shirley 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 dictates 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 only have 72 years remaining on my flat in Shirley. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What should I do?
On the basis that you qualify, 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 magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. On the whole a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Shirley.
Planning to sign contracts shortly on a garden flat in Shirley. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they report fully tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Shirley should include some of the following:
- Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Shirley. Do I have any liability for 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. 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 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 work for a long established estate agency in Shirley where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Shirley conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 own a a ground floor purpose built flat in Shirley. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for a lease extension?
Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Shirley property is 29 Woodstock Road in April 2014. the Tribunal determined that the premiums to be paid into court in respect of the purchase of the freehold registered at HMLR under Title N0.SY3997 should be £7,217. This case was in relation to 4 flats. The unexpired term was 98 years.