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Common questions relating to Berrylands leasehold conveyancing

Frank (my husband) and I may need to let out our Berrylands basement flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Berrylands conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your previous Berrylands conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you need to seek permission from your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without prior permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Berrylands. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they report fully within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Berrylands should include some of the following:

  • The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • The total extent of the property. This will be the property itself but may include a loft or basement if applicable.
  • Defining your rights in respect of common areas in the block.By way of example, does the lease contain a right of way over a path or hallways?
  • Does the lease prohibit wood flooring?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Berrylands please enquire of your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Berrylands

  • I today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Berrylands. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Berrylands ?

    The majority of houses in Berrylands are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Berrylands so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Berrylands conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

    I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Berrylands where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Berrylands conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

    Provided that 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 can avoid having 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 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 purchaser.

    Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Berrylands conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Berrylands conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Berrylands conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

    • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Berrylands who can give a testimonial?

  • Following months of correspondence 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?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Berrylands conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Berrylands flat 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 affected 1 flat.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Berrylands