Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Feltham:

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Sample questions relating to Feltham leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Feltham.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you discharge the service charge 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 unless 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Feltham. Conveyancing and Barclays mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Feltham who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Feltham conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am looking at a two flats in Feltham which have in the region of forty five years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Feltham is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the value of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty 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 premises 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 any new 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Feltham conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Feltham conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Feltham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Feltham who can give a testimonial?

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

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Feltham can be avoided 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 representatives.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Feltham leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you fail to have the approvals to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in the first instance.
  • Some 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 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 there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to 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 will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a Feltham conveyancing firm to represent me?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Feltham conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Feltham property 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 unexpired lease term was 82.93 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Feltham