Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Little Venice:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Little Venice

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Little Venice.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is 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 management companies 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Little Venice. Conveyancing and Birmingham Midshires mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Little Venice who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Little Venice conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Little Venice. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. However, 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).

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Little Venice where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Little Venice conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Little Venice conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Little Venice conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Little Venice conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Little Venice who can give a testimonial?

  • Little Venice Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to buying

      What is the length of the lease? The prefered form of lease arrangement is where the freehold reversion is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this arrangement the leaseholders enjoy control and although a managing agent is frequently retained where it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders. Are any of leasehold owners in arrears of their service charge payments?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Little Venice