Questions and Answers: Teignmouth leasehold conveyancing
I want to sublet my leasehold apartment in Teignmouth. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
The lease governs relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Teignmouth do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.
There are only Sixty One years left on my lease in Teignmouth. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. In some cases a specialist should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Teignmouth.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Teignmouth. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Teignmouth who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Teignmouth conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Teignmouth. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).
I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Teignmouth where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Teignmouth conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser 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 simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
Teignmouth Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries Prior to buying
Is there a share of the freehold?
What is the the remaining lease term?
Who are the managing agents?