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Recently asked questions relating to Hillingdon leasehold conveyancing

Planning to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Hillingdon. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Hillingdon should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Hillingdon please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Hillingdon

  • I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Hillingdon. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

    Most houses in Hillingdon are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Hillingdon in which case you should be shopping around for a Hillingdon conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

    I've recently bought a leasehold property in Hillingdon. 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 ensure 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 Hillingdon where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Hillingdon conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    As long as the seller has been the owner 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 buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, 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.

    What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Hillingdon conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Hillingdon conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Hillingdon conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:

    • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What are the charges for lease extension work?

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

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to assess the price.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Hillingdon residence is 164 Nestles Avenue in October 2013. The tribunal agreed with the proposed price of £20,158 for the freehold and determined that that sum is the amount to be paid into court This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 69 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hillingdon