Questions and Answers: Whitechapel leasehold conveyancing
My husband and I may need to sub-let our Whitechapel garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Whitechapel conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Your lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Whitechapel do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Whitechapel. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Whitechapel ?
The majority of houses in Whitechapel are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Whitechapel so you should seriously consider looking for a Whitechapel conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Whitechapel. Conveyancing and Barnsley Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Whitechapel who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Whitechapel conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Whitechapel conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Whitechapel conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Whitechapel conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £150000 flat in Whitechapel in just under a week. The management company has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Whitechapel?
Whitechapel conveyancing on leasehold flats nine out of ten times necessitates fees being levied by managing agents :
- Completing pre-contract enquiries
- Where consent is required before sale in Whitechapel
- Supplying insurance information
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Whitechapel conveyancing firm to help?
in cases where there is a absentee 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 First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Whitechapel flat is 1-41 Royal Tower Lodge 40 Cartwright Street in April 2013. the tribunal adding the agreed value of capitalised ground rents and the reversion the price to be paid for the freehold was £1,187,000 This case related to 41 flats. The unexpired lease term was 107 years.