Questions and Answers: Stoke Newington leasehold conveyancing
My fiance and I may need to let out our Stoke Newington ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Stoke Newington conveyancing firm in 2002 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?
Even though your last Stoke Newington conveyancing lawyer is not available you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must seek permission via your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without prior permission. The consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years left on my flat in Stoke Newington. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent would be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Stoke Newington.
I have just started marketing my ground floor apartment in Stoke Newington.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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 today plan to offer on a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Stoke Newington. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Stoke Newington are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Stoke Newington in which case you should be shopping around for a Stoke Newington conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Stoke Newington where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Stoke Newington conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. 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.
Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
After months of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Stoke Newington. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to determine the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Stoke Newington flat is Lower Flat 16A Beatty Road in September 2012. The premium payable was £13,577. The terms of the lease has been agreed between the Applicants and the First Respondent and the Tribunal did not seek to disturb that agreement. This case related to 1 flat.