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Recently asked questions relating to Southfields leasehold conveyancing

My husband and I may need to sub-let our Southfields garden flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Southfields conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Even though your previous Southfields conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must seek permission via your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without prior permission. The consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Planning to complete next month on a studio apartment in Southfields. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they will have a report out to me next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Southfields should include some of the following:

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • Defining your rights in respect of common areas in the building.E.G., does the lease grant a right of way over an accessway or staircase?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Southfields please enquire of your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Southfields

  • I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Southfields. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Southfields ?

    The majority of houses in Southfields are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Southfields so you should seriously consider looking for a Southfields conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.

    I work for a busy estate agent office in Southfields where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Southfields conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

    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 need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

    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.

    Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Southfields with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Southfields can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Southfields levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Southfields.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Southfields leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. If you fail to have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • Some Southfields leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Southfields home move. Where a duplicate share is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • I inherited a ground floor flat in Southfields. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    if there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Southfields premises is 83 Balvernie Grove in February 2012. The Tribunal assessed the price to be paid by the leaseholder to the freeholder for the lease extension pursuant to section 48 of the Leasehold Reform Housing & Urban Development Act 1993 should be£16,603.00 This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 69.32 years.