Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Balham

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Balham

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Balham. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Balham are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Balham so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Balham 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. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Balham. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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. A critical element 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 employed by a long established estate agent office in Balham where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Balham conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

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 provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Balham from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Balham can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Balham charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Balham.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Balham leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Should you fail to have the consents to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • A minority of Balham leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Balham home move. If a duplicate share is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Balham conveyancing firm to represent me?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Balham conveyancing firm who can help.

    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.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Balham what are the most frequent lease problems?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Balham is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Barnsley Building Society, and Britannia all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Balham