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Sample questions relating to Bayswater leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Bayswater.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you pay the service charge 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Bayswater. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 reputable estate agency in Bayswater where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Bayswater conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Bayswater conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Bayswater conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Bayswater conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the charges for lease extension work?

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £400000 apartment in Bayswater in 8 days. The freeholder has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Bayswater?

    Bayswater conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually requires the purchaser’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They may levy a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Bayswater conveyancing firm to represent me?

    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 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to assess the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Bayswater flat is 93 Oakwood Court in June 2010. the LVT determined that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £492,083, This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 37.79 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bayswater