Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Woolwich
My wife and I may need to rent out our Woolwich garden flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Woolwich conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Woolwich conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain permission via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without first obtaining permission. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years unexpired on my flat in Woolwich. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent would be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Woolwich.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Woolwich. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Woolwich conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Woolwich conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Woolwich 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:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm completed in Woolwich in the last year?
Following months of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Woolwich. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
if there is a missing 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 LVT to assess the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Woolwich premises is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 69.77 years.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Woolwich what are the most frequent lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Woolwich. All leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Barclays Direct all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.