Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hanwell:

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Hanwell leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am intending to let out my leasehold apartment in Hanwell. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Even though your previous Hanwell conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to obtain consent via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without first obtaining consent. Such consent should not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years remaining on my lease in Hanwell. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?

If 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent would be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Hanwell.

I work for a reputable estate agency in Hanwell where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Hanwell conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as 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 top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hanwell with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hanwell can be avoided where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Hanwell leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Should you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. 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 are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Hanwell conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is 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 home on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £500000 maisonette in Hanwell next Wednesday . The landlords agents has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Hanwell?

    Hanwell conveyancing on leasehold apartments often involves the purchaser’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

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

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the price payable.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Hanwell flat is 6 Jessamine Road in August 2013. The Tribunals valuation (as annexed to the decision) calculated the amount payable as £18,355 for the freehold reversion This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 72.39 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hanwell