Common questions relating to Sydenham Hill leasehold conveyancing
I would like to rent out my leasehold apartment in Sydenham Hill. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Notwithstanding that your previous Sydenham Hill conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you must obtain permission via your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. The consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years remaining on my flat in Sydenham Hill. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent may be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Sydenham Hill.
Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold flat in Sydenham Hill. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Sydenham Hill who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Sydenham Hill conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured 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 tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Sydenham Hill which have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Sydenham Hill is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the premises. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Sydenham Hill conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Sydenham Hill where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Sydenham Hill conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has been the owner 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 need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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.
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in Sydenham Hill. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Sydenham Hill 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 69 years.