Top Five Questions relating to Thornton Heath leasehold conveyancing
I wish to rent out my leasehold flat in Thornton Heath. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?
Even though your previous Thornton Heath conveyancing lawyer is not around you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the premises. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain permission via your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without first obtaining permission. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I only have 62 years unexpired on my lease in Thornton Heath. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent should be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Thornton Heath.
I am looking at a couple of flats in Thornton Heath both have approximately fifty years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Thornton Heath is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the property. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 premises 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 Thornton Heath conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Thornton Heath. 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 lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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 be sure 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 agency in Thornton Heath where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Thornton Heath conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner 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 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 has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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 buyer.
I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Thornton Heath. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Thornton Heath property is Ground Floor Flat 14 Lodge Road in October 2013. the tribunal held that the price payable for the acquisition of the extended lease of the property should be £12,590 .00 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 69.46 years.