Leasehold Conveyancing in Hampstead - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

Any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Hampstead, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Frequently asked questions relating to Hampstead leasehold conveyancing

I wish to sublet my leasehold flat in Hampstead. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Some leases for properties in Hampstead do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Hampstead.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is discharge the invoice 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 management companies 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.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Hampstead. Am I liable to pay 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 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. It is an essential part 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).

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hampstead with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hampstead can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Hampstead charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hampstead.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Hampstead state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. If you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • Some Hampstead leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, 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. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet 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 will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than ongoing.

  • All being well we will complete our sale of a £325000 flat in Hampstead next week. The management company has quoted £336 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Hampstead?

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

    • Addressing conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Hampstead
    • Supplying insurance information
    • 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 obliged to supply answers.

    I am the leaseholder of a basement flat in Hampstead. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount due for a lease extension?

    Most definitely. 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 property 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 related to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 16.83 and 16.43.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hampstead