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Isleworth leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Isleworth. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Isleworth - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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 husband and I may need to rent out our Isleworth ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Isleworth conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Isleworth do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

Due to exchange soon on a basement flat in Isleworth. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Isleworth should include some of the following:

  • The total extent of the property. This will be the flat itself but could also include a loft or cellar if applicable.
  • Whether the lease restricts you from renting out the property, or having a home office for business
  • You should be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • What options are open to you if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Isleworth please ask your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Isleworth

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Isleworth. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

    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. Strange as it may seem, 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 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 am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Isleworth where we see a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Isleworth conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

    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. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

    Alternatively, it may be possible 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 inherited a second floor flat in Isleworth. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Isleworth flat 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 affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 60.45 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Isleworth