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When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Feltham, you will need to instruct a conveyancing solicitor with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Lloyds, Birmingham Midshires or NatWest be sure to find a lawyer on their approved list. Find a Feltham conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Top Five Questions relating to Feltham leasehold conveyancing

There are only Sixty One years remaining on my lease in Feltham. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What should I do?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Feltham.

I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Feltham both have about forty five years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Feltham is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Feltham conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Feltham. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).

I am employed by a long established estate agency in Feltham where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Feltham conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that 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. This means that the buyer need not have 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 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Feltham from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Feltham can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Feltham charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Feltham.
  • A minority of Feltham leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle 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 buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Organising a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming process and slows down many a Feltham home move. If a duplicate share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Feltham conveyancing firm to assist?

    if there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Feltham premises is 147 Redford Close in June 2012. The Tribunal determined the lease extension premium to be at £4,200 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 82.93 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Feltham