Top Five Questions relating to Woodlands leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Woodlands. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Woodlands - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I would like to rent out my leasehold flat in Woodlands. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Your lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Woodlands do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years unexpired on my flat in Woodlands. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?
If you qualify, 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 granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Woodlands.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Woodlands. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. Strange as it may seem, 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Woodlands conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Woodlands conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Woodlands conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Woodlands who can give a testimonial?
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Woodlands conveyancing firm to help?
Where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to judgment on the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Woodlands premises is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 60.45 years.