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Top Five Questions relating to Westcombe Park leasehold conveyancing

Helen (my wife) and I may need to sub-let our Westcombe Park garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Westcombe Park conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Even though your last Westcombe Park conveyancing solicitor is not around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the premises. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain consent via your landlord or some other party before subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior permission. The consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Westcombe Park. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they are sending me a report tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Westcombe Park should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • The physical extent of the premises. This will be the apartment itself but might include a loft or basement if applicable.
  • Does the lease prohibit wood flooring?
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What options are open to you if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Westcombe Park please enquire of your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Westcombe Park

  • I am employed by a busy estate agency in Westcombe Park where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Westcombe Park conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities 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 kick-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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

    Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.

    Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Westcombe Park conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Westcombe Park conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Westcombe Park conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:

    • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • What volume of lease extensions have they completed in Westcombe Park in the last twenty four months?

  • Completion in due on the disposal of our £325000 maisonette in Westcombe Park in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Westcombe Park?

    Westcombe Park conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries most will be willing to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements 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 if you want to complete the sale of your home.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Westcombe Park conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    if there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Westcombe Park property is 73 Walerand Road in August 2012. the result of the findings of the Tribunal led to a premium to be paid for the extended lease in respect of Flat 73 in the sum of £10,040. The premium applicable in respect of Flat 85 was £5,710. This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 72 years.