Questions and Answers: Tolworth leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to let out our Tolworth basement flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Tolworth conveyancing firm in 2003 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?
Even though your last Tolworth conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must seek permission from your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Tolworth.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
It best that you pay the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Tolworth. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Tolworth ?
The majority of houses in Tolworth are freehold rather than 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 buying in Tolworth in which case you should be shopping around for a Tolworth conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Tolworth where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Tolworth conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having 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 before, 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 buyer.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Tolworth conveyancing firm to assist?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Tolworth conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Tolworth 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 was in relation to 1 flat.
Are there frequently found defects that you encounter in leases for Tolworth properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Tolworth is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, Coventry Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.