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Recently asked questions relating to Balham leasehold conveyancing

My fiance and I may need to let out our Balham 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Balham conveyancing practice in 2004 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 Balham do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years left on my lease in Balham. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent would be useful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Balham.

I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Balham. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Balham ?

The majority of houses in Balham are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Balham in which case you should be looking for a Balham conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.

I own a leasehold house in Balham. Conveyancing and Yorkshire Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Balham who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Balham conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £125000 maisonette in Balham next Wednesday . The management company has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Balham?

Balham conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes ordinarily involves fees being invoiced by managing agents :

  • Addressing pre-contract enquiries
  • 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 lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Balham leasehold property 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 required to provide the information.

I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Balham conveyancing firm to assist?

if there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to decide the amount due.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Balham residence 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 the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 56.67 years.

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Lease Extensions in Balham