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Wembley leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I wish to sublet my leasehold apartment in Wembley. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Notwithstanding that your last Wembley conveyancing lawyer is not around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you need to seek consent from your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. The consent must not not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Wembley.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the service charge 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 managing agents 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold house in Wembley. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Wembley who previously acted has long since retired.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 Wembley conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, 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 employed by a long established estate agency in Wembley where we see a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Wembley conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Wembley conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Wembley conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Wembley 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:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Wembley in the last 12 months?

  • After months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Wembley. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    if there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to judgment on the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Wembley residence is Ground Floor Flat 79 London Road in September 2012. the Tribunal held that the premium payable for the lease extension should be £7,636 This case affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 74 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Wembley