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Frequently asked questions relating to Hammersmith leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a leasehold property in Hammersmith. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they will have a report out to me on Monday. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Hammersmith should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Will you be prohibited or prevented from having pets in the property?
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Hammersmith please ask your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Hammersmith

  • My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Hammersmith. Conveyancing and Barnsley Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Hammersmith who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

    First contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Hammersmith conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note 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.

    What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Hammersmith conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

    If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Hammersmith conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Hammersmith conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:

    • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hammersmith with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hammersmith can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Hammersmith state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. If you dont have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • Some Hammersmith leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to 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 over as opposed to ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • We expect to complete the disposal of our £325000 apartment in Hammersmith on Wednesday in a week. The management company has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Hammersmith?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Hammersmith conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Hammersmith
    • Supplying insurance information
    • 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 Hammersmith leasehold premises is £350. For Hammersmith 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 obliged to provide answers.

    I inherited a two-bedroom flat in Hammersmith. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Hammersmith conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Hammersmith premises is 19 Crisp Road in June 2009. Following a vesting order (Under section 26 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993) The tribunal determined that the premium payable for the acquisition of the freehold was £33,756,apportioned as to£12,285 for the lower at and £21,471for the upper fat. This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired term was 68.32 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hammersmith