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Top Five Questions relating to Hampton Wick leasehold conveyancing

I only have 62 years left on my lease in Hampton Wick. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

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 enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent would be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Hampton Wick.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Hampton Wick. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Hampton Wick are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Hampton Wick in which case you should be shopping around for a Hampton Wick conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.

Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold house in Hampton Wick. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Hampton Wick who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

First contact HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Hampton Wick conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hampton Wick from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hampton Wick can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Hampton Wick levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hampton Wick.
  • Some Hampton Wick leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Having spent months of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Hampton Wick. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    if there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal 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 was in relation to 1 flat.

    What are the common deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Hampton Wick properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Hampton Wick is not unique. All leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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

    You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester 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 does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hampton Wick