Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Chessington:

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Top Five Questions relating to Chessington leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Chessington. Before I get started I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Chessington - 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.

There are only 62 years left on my flat in Chessington. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Chessington.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Chessington. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).

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

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Chessington can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Chessington leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming process and delays many a Chessington conveyancing transaction. Where a duplicate share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is below 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £475000 flat in Chessington on Friday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Chessington?

    Chessington conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates the buyer’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Chessington conveyancing firm to assist?

    in cases 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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Chessington property 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.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Chessington