Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Luton
I would like to sublet my leasehold flat in Luton. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, 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 Luton do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years left on my lease in Luton. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What are my options?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application 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 Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. For most situations a specialist may be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Luton.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Luton. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Luton are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Luton so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Luton conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.
I work for a long established estate agent office in Luton where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Luton conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process 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 sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Luton from the perspective of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Luton can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Luton leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. If you fail to have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in the first instance.
Luton Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should consider Prior to buying
It is important to be aware whether fixing the lift or some other significant cost is due in the near future that will be shared amongst the tenants and will dramatically increase the the service charges or result in a one off invoice.
Is there a share of the freehold?
In the main the outlay for major works are not included within service charges, although there some managing agents in Luton ask leasehold owners to contribute towards a reserve fund created for the specific purpose of establishing a fund for major repairs or maintenance.