Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Balham:

Any conveyancing practice can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Balham, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Balham leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Balham.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am attracted to a two flats in Balham which have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Balham. The lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area

I work for a busy estate agency in Balham where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Balham conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence 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.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Balham conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Balham conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Balham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £425000 apartment in Balham in seven days. The managing agents has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Balham?

    Balham conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally results in administration charges raised by managing agents :

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Balham
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Balham leasehold premises is £350. For Balham conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide answers.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Balham conveyancing firm to represent me?

    Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Balham flat is First Floor Flat 152a Ramsden Road in June 2009. The net result of the tribunals calculation produced a premium payable of £23,975. This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 56.67 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Balham