Recently asked questions relating to Smithfield leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Smithfield garden flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Smithfield conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Your lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Smithfield do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.
I have recently realised that I have 72 years unexpired on my lease in Smithfield. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. On the whole a specialist should be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Smithfield.
Looking forward to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Smithfield. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Smithfield should include some of the following:
- You should receive a copy of the lease
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Smithfield where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Smithfield conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 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 needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Smithfield from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Smithfield can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
- The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Smithfield charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Smithfield.
I own a 2 bed flat in Smithfield, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Equivalent flats in Smithfield with over 90 years remaining are worth £252,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 per annum. The lease expires on 21st October 2086
With only 62 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £19,000 and £22,000 plus professional fees.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to provide a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.