Recently asked questions relating to Wandsworth leasehold conveyancing
I wish to sublet my leasehold apartment 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?
Some leases for properties in Wandsworth do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to 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.
There are only 68 years unexpired on my flat in Wandsworth. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission 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 prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent may be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Wandsworth.
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Wandsworth.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is discharge the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Wandsworth. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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 choosing a Wandsworth conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Wandsworth conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Wandsworth conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Wandsworth conveyancing firm to assist?
Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Wandsworth conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case 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 was in relation to 2 flats.