Recently asked questions relating to West Kensington leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to sub-let our West Kensington ground floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a West Kensington conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
The lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in West Kensington do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.
I’m about to sell my garden apartment in West Kensington.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in West Kensington. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in West Kensington who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a West Kensington conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am employed by a long established estate agent office in West Kensington where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local West Kensington conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a West Kensington conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a West Kensington conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non West Kensington 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 useful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Notwithstanding our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in West Kensington. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a West Kensington conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a West Kensington premises is 93 Oakwood Court in June 2010. the LVT determined that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £492,083, This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 37.79 years.