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Questions and Answers: Colliers Wood leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Colliers Wood. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Colliers Wood - 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 have just started marketing my garden apartment in Colliers Wood.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

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

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Colliers Wood. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Colliers Wood who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Colliers Wood conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I work for a reputable estate agency in Colliers Wood where we see a few flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Colliers Wood conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having 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 disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Colliers Wood conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Colliers Wood conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Colliers Wood conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Colliers Wood in the last year?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension work?

  • After months of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Colliers Wood. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    if there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Colliers Wood flat is 14 Nutwell Street in January 2014. The premium payable for the acquisition of a new lease of the subject premises was in the sum of £30,523 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 62.94 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Colliers Wood