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Questions and Answers: Edgware leasehold conveyancing

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Edgware. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Edgware are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Edgware in which case you should be looking for a Edgware conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.

I work for a reputable estate agent office in Edgware where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Edgware conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Edgware conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Edgware conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Edgware 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:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • How many lease extensions has the firm completed in Edgware in the last twenty four months?

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £150000 garden flat in Edgware in six days. The freeholder has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Edgware?

    Edgware conveyancing on leasehold apartments often involves the buyer’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They may levy a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.

    After years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Edgware. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Edgware conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Edgware premises is Ground Floor Maisonette 17 Milton Road in January 2014. The Tribunal determined the premium payable by the Applicant to the should be £13,299 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 71.73 years.

    Are there common defects that you encounter in leases for Edgware properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Edgware. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Coventry Building Society, and TSB all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Edgware