Common questions relating to South Tottenham leasehold conveyancing
Frank (my husband) and I may need to sub-let our South Tottenham garden flat for a while due to a new job. We used a South Tottenham conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in South Tottenham do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.
I am attracted to a two apartments in South Tottenham which have approximately fifty years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in South Tottenham is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most buyers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat 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 South Tottenham 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 any new 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in South Tottenham. 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 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 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a South Tottenham conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a South Tottenham conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non South Tottenham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- Can they put you in touch with client in South Tottenham who can give a testimonial?
I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in South Tottenham. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the price payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a South Tottenham premises 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 affected 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 74.13 years.
Are there frequently found defects that you encounter in leases for South Tottenham properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in South Tottenham. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- 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
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and TSB all have very detailed conveyancing instructions 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, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.