Wandsworth leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Wandsworth. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Wandsworth - 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.
My partner and I may need to rent out our Wandsworth ground floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Wandsworth conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Wandsworth do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.
I own a leasehold house in Wandsworth. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Wandsworth who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Wandsworth conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Wandsworth where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Wandsworth conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start 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 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Wandsworth. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
if there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Wandsworth premises is 4 Galveston Road in August 2012. The Tribunal determined that the price payable in respect of the purchase of the freehold was £22,650. The Tribunal remited this matter back to the Wandsworth County Court for execution of the freehold Transfer Deed. This case related to 2 flats.
Are there frequently found defects that you see in leases for Wandsworth properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Wandsworth. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- 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 can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Bank of Ireland 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, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.