Frequently asked questions relating to West London leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to let out our West London basement flat for a while due to a new job. We used a West London conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in West London do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates 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 consent.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years unexpired on my flat in West London. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. In some cases a specialist should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering West London.
Expecting to exchange soon on a ground floor flat in West London. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they will have a report out to me next week. What should I be looking out for?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in West London should include some of the following:
- You should receive a copy of the lease
I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in West London. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in West London are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in West London in which case you should be looking for a West London conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.
I own a second floor flat in West London. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount due for a lease extension?
in cases where there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to decide the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a West London residence is 137 & 139 Haberdasher Street in December 2013. The Tribunal determines in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease for each Property should be £12,350.00. This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 72.39 years.
What makes a West London lease defective?
Leasehold conveyancing in West London is not unique. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You could have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Barclays Direct 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 provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.