Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hampton Wick:

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Hampton Wick leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I only have 72 years left on my lease in Hampton Wick. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. In some cases a specialist would be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Hampton Wick.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Hampton Wick. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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. 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 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 am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Hampton Wick where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Hampton Wick conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hampton Wick with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hampton Wick can be reduced if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Hampton Wick state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. If you dont have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • A minority of Hampton Wick leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay 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 reveal the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I have had difficulty in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in Hampton Wick. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Hampton Wick premises is Flat D 15 Claremont Gardens in September 2013. TheTribunal determined in accordance with section48 and Schedule13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty seven pounds (£14,187.00) This case affected 1 flat.

    What makes a Hampton Wick lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Hampton Wick. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Chelsea Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hampton Wick