Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Bankside:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Bankside

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Bankside. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Bankside - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Bankside. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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 work for a busy estate agency in Bankside where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Bankside conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process 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 to extend their lease. 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 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 choosing a Bankside conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Bankside conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Bankside conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Bankside from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Bankside can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Bankside levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Bankside.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Bankside state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you dont have the consents in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor before hand.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Bankside. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to assess the price payable.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Bankside residence is 1-41 Royal Tower Lodge 40 Cartwright Street in April 2013. the tribunal adding the agreed value of capitalised ground rents and the reversion the price to be paid for the freehold was £1,187,000 This case related to 41 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 107 years.