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Surbiton leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

My partner and I may need to rent out our Surbiton basement flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Surbiton conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Surbiton do not contain subletting altogether – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.

Planning to complete next month on a leasehold property in Surbiton. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report next week. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Surbiton should include some of the following:

  • The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • The physical extent of the premises. This will be the property itself but might incorporate a loft or cellar if applicable.
  • Does the lease prevent you from letting out the flat, or having a home office for business
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide. For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Surbiton please enquire of your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Surbiton

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Surbiton. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

    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 work for a reputable estate agent office in Surbiton where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Surbiton conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    Provided that 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

    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.

    Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Surbiton from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Surbiton can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Surbiton charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Surbiton.
  • Some Surbiton leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy process and slows down many a Surbiton conveyancing transaction. If a new share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is below 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I own a basement flat in Surbiton. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Surbiton conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Surbiton residence is Flat D 15 Claremont Gardens in September 2013. TheTribunal determined in accordance with section48 and Schedule13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty seven pounds (£14,187.00) This case related to 1 flat.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Surbiton