Woodlands leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I want to sublet my leasehold apartment in Woodlands. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
Your lease governs relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Woodlands do not prevent subletting altogether – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.
There are only 68 years unexpired on my lease in Woodlands. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. In some cases a specialist should be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Woodlands.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Woodlands. Conveyancing and Nationwide Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Woodlands who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Woodlands conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Woodlands. 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 lessee 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. It is an essential part 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).
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Woodlands with the intention of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Woodlands can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
- Many freeholders or managing agents in Woodlands charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Woodlands.
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Woodlands. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Woodlands conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Woodlands flat 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 the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 60.45 years.