Common questions relating to Walworth leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Walworth. Before diving in I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.
If the lease is registered - and almost all are in Walworth - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
Jane (my partner) and I may need to rent out our Walworth ground floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Walworth conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Even though your last Walworth conveyancing solicitor is not available you can check your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to obtain consent via your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without prior consent. The consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years left on my lease in Walworth. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?
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 mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. On the whole a specialist may be helpful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Walworth.
I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Walworth where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Walworth conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities 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 kick-start 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 before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Walworth conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Walworth conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Walworth conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- What volume of lease extensions have they completed in Walworth in the last 12 months?
Following years of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Walworth. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute 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 First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the price payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Walworth flat is 28 Valmar Road in June 2013. this was a case with an absentee freeholder. As a result the leaseholders applied to the Lambeth County Court for an order dispensing with the giving of a notice of claim. On 25 April 2013 District Judge Zimmels made a vesting order and directed that the matter should be transferred to this tribunal to determine the premium. The tribunal concluded on a figure of £1,125 This case related to 3 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 968 years.