Recently asked questions relating to West Hendon leasehold conveyancing
I wish to sublet my leasehold apartment in West Hendon. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?
A lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in West Hendon do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.
I am looking at a couple of flats in West Hendon which have approximately fifty years left on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in West Hendon is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 a residence 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 West Hendon conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed 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.
I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in West Hendon where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local West Hendon conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £400000 garden flat in West Hendon in 5 days. The managing agents has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in West Hendon?
West Hendon conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually necessitates the buyer’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions most will be content to assist. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is above £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
I am the registered owner of a ground-floor 1960’s flat in West Hendon. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a West Hendon residence is First Floor Flat 61 Wilberforce Road in March 2014. The premium payable was £10,130 and the case was remitted back to the Willesden County Court to effect the Vesting Order (Claim No 3W103100). This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 71 years.
Are there frequently found problems that you encounter in leases for West Hendon properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in West Hendon is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are erroneous. 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. Birmingham Midshires, Virgin Money, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed 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 provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.