Questions and Answers: Wandsworth leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Wandsworth. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all 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.
I want to rent out my leasehold flat in Wandsworth. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
The lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Wandsworth do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I have recently realised that I have 62 years remaining on my lease in Wandsworth. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?
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 granted an extra 90 years by the Court. 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 useful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Wandsworth.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Wandsworth. Conveyancing and The Mortgage Works 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 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Wandsworth who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Wandsworth conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Wandsworth which have about fifty years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Wandsworth is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Wandsworth conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
Following years of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Wandsworth. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Wandsworth conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Wandsworth property 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 affected 2 flats.