Leasehold Conveyancing in Colliers Wood - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Colliers Wood, you will need to appoint a conveyancing practitioner with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Santander, Birmingham Midshires or NatWest be sure to find a lawyer on their approved list. Feel free to use our search tool

Questions and Answers: Colliers Wood leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor apartment in Colliers Wood.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you 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 until 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.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Colliers Wood. Conveyancing and Aldermore mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Colliers Wood who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Colliers Wood conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Colliers Wood. 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. 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).

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

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Colliers Wood conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Colliers Wood conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Colliers Wood who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Colliers Wood with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Colliers Wood can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
    • A minority of Colliers Wood leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming formality and delays many a Colliers Wood home move. Where a reissued share is required, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where 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 advisable verify this by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore essential 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.

  • I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Colliers Wood. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Colliers Wood premises 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 the unexpired residue of the current lease was 62.94 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Colliers Wood