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This is an important factor when negotiating a lease. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 a lease for a period over 6 months automatically  provides the tenant with a secure tenancy which means that a landlord at the end of the term  can only refuse to continue the tenancy on limited grounds one example is that the tenant has failed to make regular payments.

A landlord will generally want to exclude this security of tenure so that at the end of the lease if he wishes to grant the tenant a new lease he can agree to do so but the tenant has no automatic right to a new lease.

Further if a lease is secured the tenant has the right to request a new lease on the basis of the old lease save for matters that need to be reviewed like rent. The landlord might not want the tenant to have his flexibility as if matters cannot be agreed the parties have the right to make an application to court for the terms of the lease to be resolved. The landlord may prefer to have control over the terms of any new lease rather than the tenant having the opportunity of making an application to court.

If the parties agree for the landlord and Tenant Act 1954 to be excluded so that the lease is not a secure lease then a notice needs to be served by the landlord on the tenant prior to the lease being entered into and a statement signed by the tenant confirming that he has accepted the notice and agrees to the terms, an application to court is no longer required.

If you are thinking of granting a lease or taking on a new lease we offer specialist legal advice on this matter and always try to provide a fixed fee quote. Please feel free to contact me on my direct dial 01623 448302 or climb@fidler.co.uk

Christie Limb

Partner

 

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If you are a tenant with a leasehold interest in a property and the length of the lease is running short you have several options available to you.

The most obvious solution is to extend the term of your lease. But another option is to seek to purchase the freehold to the property.

More often than not this will be registered in the in a company name

Rather than in the individual names of the leaseholders names.

It is always possible for the owners to register it in their individual names provided that there are no more than four of them. This would keep costs to a minimum but often neglect to set up a deed of trust (the document that governs their relationship with each other).

You may consider that this is not necessary but the danger of not looking at this could result in difficulties when one of the owners decides to sell their leasehold and freehold interest. An extreme example could be where one owner of the freehold decides not to agree to sale of the interest in the freehold. This would be enough to prevent the sale from going ahead. Not ideal by any stretch if the imagination.

If you have any questions on this issue or are considering doing this in respect of your leasehold property and want an informal chat then please drop me a line at wjames@fidler.co.uk or give me a call on 01623 451111

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An increasing number of homeowners are taking advantage of the opportunity to reduce their energy bills by installing solar panels through a ‘rent-a-roof’ scheme.  But might the risks outweigh the benefits?

Rent-a-roof’ schemes, where homeowners lease roof space in return for the free use of the electricity generated from solar or photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roofs, are becoming increasingly popular.

In a nutshell, the scheme offered by PV installers works by allowing the property owner to use all the power that the PV
system generates for their household. This thereby reduces their need to draw power from the grid, lowering their annual utility bill. The installer is paid for both the total power that the system generates (whether it is used or not), and any surplus power fed back into the grid. They do this by retaining the right for the feed-in tariff (FIT), under the scheme introduced on 1 April 2010 by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, via the Energy Act 2008. The main aim of the scheme was to incentivise small-scale low carbon technologies, including PV panels.

The PV installer’s investment is protected by the homeowner granting a lease over the property’s roof space, typically for a period of 25 years. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has provided guidance confirming what lease terms are generally considered acceptable (see below). In theory, this is a mutually beneficial arrangement for both the homeowner and the installer. However, some property owners have encountered problems with either their existing lender or where they have tried to remortgage or sell their property. This may be because the homeowner never obtained the lender’s consent for the installation, and failed to register the lease against the property, or because the lease itself was not drafted in a way acceptable to the majority of lenders.

There are no exact figures for how many installations of PV panels have taken place since the FIT scheme was introduced, but it is likely that residential conveyancers will encounter more and more properties subject to such leases.

If you have had such a lease installed at your property and would like to discuss this matter further please contact William James at wjames@fidler.co.uk in the commercial department or alternatively on 01623 451111.

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According to Connells Survey and Valuation, the number of  mortgage valuations bounced back in May following the slump in April (which many people attribute to the Stamp Duty deadline ending in March)

Mortgage valuations in May rose by 18% compared to the same time last year. Compared to April the total number of residential valuations rose by 4%.

First time buyers also improved, rising by 8% after April’s dip, representing a 12% increase on May last year.

There has been a slight increase in the percentage of  first-time buyers compared to the rest of the market – they represented 32% of all residential valuations by Connells in May, compared to 31% in April.

Other sectors also rose  – valuations for home movers were up 4%, and for buy-to-let investors up 3% – an increase of 78% annually, although this is from a low base.

Remortgage valuation activity was unchanged in May on a monthly basis, but up 23% annually. All these figures more or less back up our own experience – we’re still up on last year in terms of new matters, with May showing a healthy increase. In fact May was the second best month we’ve had for new matters since January 2008.

May feeling is that the market is continuing to improve but it’s very slow improvement mainly because people’s confidence is being continually knocked by external factors such as the euro crisis, and the media’s obsession with negative news stories. People ARE moving house though, and in greater numbers. Which has to be good news for everyone.

If you’re thinking of moving and need an online Conveyancing Quote then give us a try

Mark

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