Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Fulham:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Fulham

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Fulham. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Fulham ?

The majority of houses in Fulham 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 apparent that you are buying in Fulham so you should seriously consider looking for a Fulham conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.

I own a leasehold flat in Fulham. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Fulham who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Fulham conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Fulham where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Fulham conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is 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 needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Fulham from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Fulham can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • Some Fulham leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You will have to accept that you will have to pay 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 details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Fulham home move. If a duplicate share is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I am the proprietor of a ground floor flat in Fulham. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Fulham conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Fulham property is 66 and 66a Wardo Avenue in November 2012. The Tribunal determined that the sum of £8,048 is payable by the Applicants in respect of the price for the freehold of the property This case was in relation to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 93 years and 162 years.

    What makes a Fulham lease unmortgageable?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Fulham. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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 primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and TSB all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Fulham