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Recently asked questions relating to Berrylands leasehold conveyancing

I wish to let out my leasehold apartment in Berrylands. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

A lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Berrylands do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.

I only have Seventy years unexpired on my flat in Berrylands. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order 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 have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Berrylands.

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Berrylands.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Berrylands conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Berrylands conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Berrylands conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Berrylands in the last year?

  • All being well we will complete our sale of a £450000 garden flat in Berrylands in seven days. The landlords agents has quoted £336 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Berrylands?

    Berrylands conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally involves the buyer’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so. They may invoice a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.

    After years of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Berrylands. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    in cases where there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to assess the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Berrylands premises is Flat D 15 Claremont Gardens in September 2013. TheTribunal determined in accordance with section48 and Schedule13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty seven pounds (£14,187.00) This case was in relation to 1 flat.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Berrylands