Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hampstead Garden Suburb:

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Top Five Questions relating to Hampstead Garden Suburb leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to sublet my leasehold flat in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Some leases for properties in Hampstead Garden Suburb do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to 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.

Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold house in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Conveyancing and Virgin Money mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Hampstead Garden Suburb who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Hampstead Garden Suburb conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Hampstead Garden Suburb conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hampstead Garden Suburb conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Hampstead Garden Suburb conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Hampstead Garden Suburb who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hampstead Garden Suburb from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hampstead Garden Suburb can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • Many landlords or Management Companies in Hampstead Garden Suburb charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hampstead Garden Suburb.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Hampstead Garden Suburb state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor before hand.
  • A minority of Hampstead Garden Suburb leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any 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 lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride 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 prior to 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 better to present the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £325000 garden flat in Hampstead Garden Suburb in just under a week. The management company has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Hampstead Garden Suburb?

    Hampstead Garden Suburb conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often necessitates the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions the majority will be content to assist. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    if there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Hampstead Garden Suburb flat is FFF, 37 and Garage 1, Queensborough Court North Circular Road in September 2012. The Tribunal determined that the premium for the lease extension should be £67,037 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 23.66 years.