Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Berrylands:

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Top Five Questions relating to Berrylands leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Berrylands. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Berrylands - 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 wish to rent out my leasehold flat in Berrylands. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

A lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Berrylands do not prevent subletting altogether – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Berrylands where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Berrylands conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate 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. 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 has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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.

All being well we will complete the disposal of our £175000 garden flat in Berrylands in six days. The managing agents has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Berrylands?

Berrylands conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not requires the buyer’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries most will be content to assist. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for answering 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 in excess of £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.

I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Berrylands conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

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 First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the amount due.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Berrylands residence 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 related to 1 flat.

What are the common deficiencies that you witness in leases for Berrylands properties?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Berrylands. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
  • A duty to insure the building
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , The Mortgage Works, and TSB all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Berrylands