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Frequently asked questions relating to Hampstead leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Hampstead. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Hampstead - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years unexpired on my flat in Hampstead. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. For most situations a specialist would be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Hampstead.

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a leasehold property in Hampstead. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they report fully within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • The physical extent of the property. This will be the property itself but might include a roof space or cellar if applicable.
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • What options are open to you if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Hampstead please enquire of your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Hampstead

  • I've recently bought a leasehold house in Hampstead. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

    In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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).

    We expect to complete the disposal of our £175000 flat in Hampstead in just under a week. The management company has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Hampstead?

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

    • Addressing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Hampstead
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Hampstead leasehold property is £350. For Hampstead 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 required to supply answers.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Hampstead conveyancing firm to help?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Hampstead conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Hampstead residence is Raised Ground Floor Flat 20 Fitzjohns Avenue in July 2014. the Tribunal decided that the premiums to be paid for new leases in respect of the Raised Ground Floor Flat and the First Floor Flat were to be calculated as: Raised Ground Floor: £765,175.14 First Floor: £601,617.77 This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 16.83 and 16.43.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hampstead