Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hampton:

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Common questions relating to Hampton leasehold conveyancing

I only have Fifty years unexpired on my flat in Hampton. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?

If 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. For most situations a specialist would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Hampton.

I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Hampton which have approximately 50 years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are plenty of short leases in Hampton. The lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As a lease shortens the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is generally wise to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Hampton. 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 lessee 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 be sure 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).

I work for a long established estate agency in Hampton where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Hampton conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 commence 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 sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

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 purchaser.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hampton from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hampton can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Hampton charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hampton.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Hampton state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you dont have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Hampton conveyancing transaction. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Hampton conveyancing firm to assist?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Hampton flat is 147 Redford Close in June 2012. The Tribunal determined the lease extension premium to be at £4,200 This case related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 82.93 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hampton