Frequently asked questions relating to Stockwell leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to rent out our Stockwell garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Stockwell conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Even though your last Stockwell conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you need to seek consent from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without prior permission. The consent should not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Stockwell.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
It best that you clear the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Stockwell both have about 50 years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Stockwell is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 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 property 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 property 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 Stockwell 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 the agreed 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Stockwell conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Stockwell conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Stockwell conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- What volume of lease extensions have they completed in Stockwell in the last twenty four months?
Having spent months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Stockwell. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
if there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Stockwell flat is 3 Tintern Street in February 2010. The tribunal had jurisdiction to make a decision on the price of the freehold of the subject premises and concluded that the premium should be £24,630.00 This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired term was 73.69 years.
What makes a Stockwell lease defective?
Leasehold conveyancing in Stockwell is not unique. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- 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
You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Alliance & Leicester all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.