Common questions relating to Sydenham leasehold conveyancing
My fiance and I may need to rent out our Sydenham basement flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Sydenham conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Sydenham do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see 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've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out 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 Sydenham. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Sydenham are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Sydenham in which case you should be looking for a Sydenham conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Sydenham. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Sydenham who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Sydenham conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Sydenham where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Sydenham conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start 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 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 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.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Sydenham conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Sydenham conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Sydenham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
Following months of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Sydenham. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to judgment on the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Sydenham flat is Flat 5 4 Border Crescent in December 2013. the tribunal calculated that premium payable for the acquisition of a lease extension of the subject premises was in the sum of £14,900 (Fourteen thousand, nine hundred pounds). Those advising the applicant were advised to send a copy of the decision and a copy of the new lease with the premium (less the applicants costs as assessed by the Court) to the Croydon County Court (under claim number 3CR01226) for an officer of the Court to execute the new lease on behalf of the absentee landlord who is missing and cannot be traced). This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 69 years.