Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Earls Court

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Earls Court, you will need to appoint a conveyancing lawyer with leasehold experience. Whether your lender is to be Santander, RBS or Nationwide make sure you find a lawyer on their panel. Feel free to use our search tool

Questions and Answers: Earls Court leasehold conveyancing

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Earls Court. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Earls Court are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Earls Court in which case you should be looking for a Earls Court conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in 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 with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Earls Court 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 inconsistent advice from local Earls Court conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with 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.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Earls Court conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Earls Court conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Earls Court conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Earls Court who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Earls Court from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Earls Court can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • A minority of Earls Court leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual 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 solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Arranging a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a Earls Court home move. Where a reissued share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is 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.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £400000 garden flat in Earls Court in nine days. The freeholder has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Earls Court?

    For most leasehold sales in Earls Court conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Completing pre-exchange enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Earls Court
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Earls Court leasehold premises is £350. For Earls Court conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to supply the information.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Earls Court conveyancing firm to represent me?

    Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Earls Court conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Earls Court property is 5 Wetherby Gardens in June 2014. the Tribunal concluded that the price to be paid for the freehold of the property was £2,369,452. This case related to 5 flats. The unexpired term was 38.98 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Earls Court