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Chiswick leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Chiswick. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Chiswick - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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 have recently realised that I have 62 years unexpired on my flat in Chiswick. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What are my options?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Chiswick.

I have just started marketing my 2 bed flat in Chiswick.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is 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 management companies 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Chiswick. Am I liable to pay 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 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).

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Chiswick conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Chiswick conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Chiswick 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 of use:

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a Chiswick conveyancing firm to represent me?

    if there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to decide the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Chiswick residence 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 related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 68.34 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Chiswick