Questions and Answers: Tooting leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to let out our Tooting ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Tooting conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Tooting 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 review 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 permission.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Tooting. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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 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).
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Tooting conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Tooting conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Tooting conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Tooting with the intention of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Tooting can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
- Many landlords or Management Companies in Tooting levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Tooting.
Following months of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Tooting. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Tooting premises is 14 Nutwell Street in January 2014. The premium payable for the acquisition of a new lease of the subject premises was in the sum of £30,523 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 62.94 years.
Are there frequently found defects that you see in leases for Tooting properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Tooting. 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:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Bank of Scotland, and Aldermore all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.