Frequently asked questions relating to Tottenham leasehold conveyancing
Jane (my partner) and I may need to sub-let our Tottenham garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Tottenham conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Tottenham 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 suggests 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 only have 68 years unexpired on my lease in Tottenham. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?
If you qualify, 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. For most situations a specialist may be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Tottenham.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Tottenham. Do I have any liability for 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 owner 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. A critical element 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Tottenham conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Tottenham conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Tottenham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I am the registered owner of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Tottenham. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Tottenham conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Tottenham residence is 30 Strode Road in June 2013. Following a vesting order by Edmonton County Court on 20th February 2013 the Tribunal arrived at a valuation for enfranchisement of £10,256 for the premises (£4,074 for the Ground Floor Flat and £6182 for the First Floor Flat) and £100 for the appurtenant land. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 83.33 and 77.3.
What makes a Tottenham lease defective?
Leasehold conveyancing in Tottenham is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Britannia 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.