Questions and Answers: Victoria leasehold conveyancing
My husband and I may need to sub-let our Victoria 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Victoria conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
The lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Victoria do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.
Expecting to exchange soon on a basement flat in Victoria. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Victoria should include some of the following:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Victoria.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 managing agents 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 today plan to offer on a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Victoria. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Victoria ?
The majority of houses in Victoria are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Victoria so you should seriously consider looking for a Victoria conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.
I own a a ground floor purpose built flat in Victoria. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?
Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Victoria conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Victoria property is Flats 12A & 19, Evelyn Mansions Carlisle Place in June 2009. The Tribunal held that the price to be paid for the new lease of Flat 12A is £168,824, For the other flat the price was set at £169,110 This case was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 56 years.
What makes a Victoria lease unmortgageable?
Leasehold conveyancing in Victoria is not unique. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Virgin Money, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.