Questions and Answers: St Margarets leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in St Margarets. Before I get started I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in St Margarets - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I want to sublet my leasehold apartment in St Margarets. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?
Notwithstanding that your previous St Margarets conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must seek permission from your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. Such consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.
I own a leasehold house in St Margarets. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in St Margarets who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a St Margarets conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in St Margarets. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. However, 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 am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in St Margarets where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local St Margarets conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can initiate 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a St Margarets conveyancing firm to help?
in cases where there is a absentee landlord 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 LVT to assess the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a St Margarets residence is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 60.45 years.