Top Five Questions relating to Strawberry Hill leasehold conveyancing
My fiance and I may need to sub-let our Strawberry Hill 1st floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Strawberry Hill conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Strawberry Hill do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.
I have recently realised that I have Seventy years remaining on my flat in Strawberry Hill. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to find the lessor. On the whole 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 advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Strawberry Hill.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Strawberry Hill. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Strawberry Hill are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Strawberry Hill in which case you should be looking for a Strawberry Hill conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Strawberry Hill both have approximately 50 years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are plenty of short leases in Strawberry Hill. The lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Strawberry Hill where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Strawberry Hill conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having 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 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 purchaser.
I inherited a first floor flat in Strawberry Hill. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Strawberry Hill conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Strawberry Hill premises 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 60.45 years.