Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Chiswick

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Questions and Answers: Chiswick leasehold conveyancing

I wish to rent out my leasehold flat in Chiswick. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Some leases for properties in Chiswick do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

I have just appointed agents to market my garden flat in Chiswick.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you clear the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Chiswick where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Chiswick conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed 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 purchaser.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Chiswick with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Chiswick can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • A minority of Chiswick leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Chiswick conveyancing transaction. Where a reissued share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Chiswick. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Chiswick conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Chiswick flat is Flat 1 30 Ennismore Avenue in September 2010. the Tribunal adopted and arrived at a premium for the lease extension of £29, 900 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 68.34 years.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Chiswick what are the most frequent lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Chiswick. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Leeds Building Society, and TSB all have express 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, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Chiswick