Top Five Questions relating to West Thurrock leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to sub-let our West Thurrock ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a West Thurrock conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in West Thurrock do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in West Thurrock. Conveyancing and Nottingham Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in West Thurrock who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a West Thurrock conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am looking at a two apartments in West Thurrock both have about 50 years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in West Thurrock is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. 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 property 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 West Thurrock 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in West Thurrock. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).
Completion in due on the sale of our £425000 apartment in West Thurrock next Tuesday . The managing agents has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in West Thurrock?
West Thurrock conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually requires the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to assist. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
After years of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in West Thurrock. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a West Thurrock conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a West Thurrock flat is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case related to 13 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 76 years.