Top Five Questions relating to Walworth leasehold conveyancing
I would like to let out my leasehold apartment in Walworth. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Notwithstanding that your previous Walworth conveyancing solicitor is not around you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the premises. The accepted inference is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain consent from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without first obtaining permission. The consent is not allowed to 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.
I only have 62 years left on my lease in Walworth. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Walworth.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Walworth. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Walworth are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Walworth in which case you should be shopping around for a Walworth conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Walworth. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Walworth who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Walworth conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I work for a long established estate agency in Walworth where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Walworth conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer 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.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Walworth conveyancing firm to help?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to determine the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case 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 unexpired term was 968 years.