Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Isleworth:

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Top Five Questions relating to Isleworth leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Isleworth. Before diving in I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Isleworth - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Isleworth. Conveyancing and Barnsley Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Isleworth who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Isleworth conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Isleworth. Am I liable to pay 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. However, 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 work for a long established estate agent office in Isleworth where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Isleworth conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 commence 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 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 sale.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.

I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a Isleworth conveyancing firm to assist?

You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Isleworth conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Isleworth residence is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 60.45 years.

Are there frequently found problems that you come across in leases for Isleworth properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in Isleworth is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
  • 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 will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd 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, obliging the buyer to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Isleworth