Questions and Answers: Luton leasehold conveyancing
My husband and I may need to sub-let our Luton ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Luton conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Luton do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.
I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years left on my lease in Luton. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to track down the lessor. In some cases a specialist should be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Luton.
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Luton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?
It best that you clear the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Luton both have about forty five years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the value of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Luton. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. However, 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).
Leasehold Conveyancing in Luton - A selection of Queries before buying
How much is the yearly maintenance fee and ground rent?
Be sure to discover if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. For example some leases prohibit pets being allowed in certain buildings in Luton. If you like the apartmentin Luton but your cat is not allowed to live with you then you will be faced hard choice.
What restrictions are there in the Luton Lease?