Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Brondesbury

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Common questions relating to Brondesbury leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Brondesbury. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Brondesbury - 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 flat in Brondesbury. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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 am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Brondesbury where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Brondesbury conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

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 buyer.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Brondesbury from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Brondesbury can be avoided where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Brondesbury levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Brondesbury.
  • Some Brondesbury leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Brondesbury conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I am the leaseholder of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Brondesbury. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    Where there is a missing landlord or where 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 determine the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Brondesbury residence is 50a Cavendish Road in April 2014. The Tribunal determines that the premium payable by the Applicant in respect of the extension of the lease for the flat was £82,319. This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 49.26 years.

    Are there common defects that you come across in leases for Brondesbury properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Brondesbury. Most leases are individual 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 elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Brondesbury