Stratford leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I want to rent out my leasehold apartment in Stratford. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
Your lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will say if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Stratford do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.
There are only 62 years unexpired on my lease in Stratford. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?
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 lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent would be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Stratford.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Stratford. Conveyancing and Accord Mortgages Ltd mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Stratford who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Stratford conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Stratford conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Stratford conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Stratford conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How many lease extensions have they carried out in Stratford in the last year?
Having spent years of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Stratford. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Stratford conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Stratford residence is 12 Nutfield Road in July 2014. the Tribunal judged that the price to be paid by the applicants for the freehold interest should be £19,572 This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 72.02 years.
What are the common problems that you see in leases for Stratford properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Stratford. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Barnsley Building Society, and TSB all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.