South West London leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Frank (my husband) and I may need to let out our South West London basement flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a South West London conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your previous South West London conveyancing solicitor is not around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to seek permission via your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in South West London. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in South West London are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in South West London so you should seriously consider shopping around for a South West London conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in South West London both have in the region of forty five years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in South West London is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with South West London conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in South West London from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in South West London can be bypassed 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 purchasers’ representatives.
- The majority landlords or Management Companies in South West London levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in South West London.
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in South West London. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the amount due.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a South West London residence is 78 & 80 Newport Road in January 2013. the Tribunal concluded that the premium to be paid by the leaseholder in respect of the freehold reversion is £23,105 This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 71.63 years.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in South West London what are the most common lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in South West London. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- 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 issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.