Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hanworth:

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Questions and Answers: Hanworth leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years left on my lease in Hanworth. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?

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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to try and locate and prepare a report to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Hanworth.

I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Hanworth where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Hanworth conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

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 need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. 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 disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Hanworth conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hanworth conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Hanworth conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions have they conducted in Hanworth in the last 12 months?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hanworth from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hanworth can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Hanworth charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hanworth.
  • A minority of Hanworth leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I have had difficulty in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in Hanworth. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

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

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

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Hanworth what are the most frequent lease defects?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Hanworth is not unique. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Clydesdale 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 provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hanworth