Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Dollis Hill

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Common questions relating to Dollis Hill leasehold conveyancing

There are only 62 years unexpired on my lease in Dollis Hill. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. 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 mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Dollis Hill.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Dollis Hill. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Dollis Hill ?

The majority of houses in Dollis Hill are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Dollis Hill so you should seriously consider looking for a Dollis Hill conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Dollis Hill. Do I have any liability for 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. Strange as it may seem, 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).

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Dollis Hill from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Dollis Hill can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Dollis Hill leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • Some Dollis Hill leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a new share certificate can be a time consuming formality and delays many a Dollis Hill conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share certificate is required, you should approach the company director and secretary 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 double-check by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £475000 flat in Dollis Hill on Tuesday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Dollis Hill?

    Dollis Hill conveyancing on leasehold flats usually involves the purchaser’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries most will be content to do so. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    Having spent months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Dollis Hill. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute 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 case for a Dollis Hill property is 12 Deacon Road in November 2012. the premium to be paid for the grant of the new lease was the sum of £31 ,635.00 (Thirty-One thousand and six hundred and thirty-five Pounds). The matter was then returned to the Willesden County Court for the completion of the grant of the new lease in substitution for the existing lease on payment into court the sum of £31,635.00 less the sum of £2,890.20 assessed costs incurred by the leaseholder. Thus the net sum of £28,744.80 was to be paid into court. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 61.98 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Dollis Hill