Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Carshalton:

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Top Five Questions relating to Carshalton leasehold conveyancing

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Carshalton. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Carshalton ?

Most houses in Carshalton are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Carshalton so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Carshalton conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Carshalton. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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. 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 employed by a long established estate agent office in Carshalton where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Carshalton conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process 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 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 at the same time as completion of the sale.

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 buyer.

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

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Carshalton conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Carshalton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • What volume of lease extensions have they completed in Carshalton in the last year?
  • What are the charges for lease extension work?

  • I am the leaseholder of a first floor flat in Carshalton. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum payable for a lease extension?

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

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Carshalton residence is 21 & 23 Carshalton Grove in May 2009. the Tribunal adopted the figures presented as the premiums payable by the Applicant i.e. a total of £20,750. This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 72 years.

    What makes a Carshalton lease problematic?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Carshalton is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Clydesdale 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 problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Carshalton