Sample questions relating to North London leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to let out our North London garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a North London conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in North London do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests 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 permission.
I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in North London. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in North London ?
The majority of houses in North London are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in North London so you should seriously consider shopping around for a North London conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in North London. 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 owner 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. A critical element 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 appointing a North London conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a North London conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with several firms including non North London conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in North London in the last year?
After years of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in North London. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a North London conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a North London residence is 20 Avonwick Road in July 2013. The Tribunal was dealing with an application under Section 26 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 for a determination of the freehold value of the property. It was concluded that the price to be paid was Fifteen Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy (£15,970) divided as to £8,200 for Flat 20 and £7,770 for Flat 20A This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 73.26 years.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in North London what are the most frequent lease problems?
Leasehold conveyancing in North London is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
- 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
A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Coventry Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express requirements 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 grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.