Common questions relating to West Kensington leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our West Kensington 1st floor flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a West Kensington conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in West Kensington do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. 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 permission.
There are only 68 years left on my flat in West Kensington. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing West Kensington.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in West Kensington.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you pay 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 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.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in West Kensington. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in West Kensington are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in West Kensington in which case you should be shopping around for a West Kensington conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in West Kensington. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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. A critical element 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).
I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in West Kensington. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for a lease extension?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a West Kensington conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a West Kensington residence 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.