Leasehold Conveyancing in Balham - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

While any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically handle 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

Common questions relating to Balham leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Balham. Before I get started I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Balham - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

There are only 68 years unexpired on my flat in Balham. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent may be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Balham.

Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold house in Balham. Conveyancing and Barclays mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Balham who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Balham conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I work for a reputable estate agent office in Balham where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Balham conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 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 before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

We expect to complete the sale of our £450000 maisonette in Balham next Wednesday . The management company has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Balham?

For most leasehold sales in Balham conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

  • Addressing 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.

Despite our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Balham. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the sum to be paid.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Balham property 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 56.67 years.

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Lease Extensions in Balham