Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Kentish Town:

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Kentish Town, you will need to appoint a conveyancing lawyer with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Santander, RBS or NatWest be sure to find a lawyer on their panel. Feel free to use our search tool

Top Five Questions relating to Kentish Town leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to rent out my leasehold flat in Kentish Town. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

A lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Kentish Town do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.

I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Kentish Town. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Kentish Town are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Kentish Town so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Kentish Town conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Kentish Town. Do I have any liability for 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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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 am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Kentish Town where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Kentish Town conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 buyer 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 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Kentish Town from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Kentish Town can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Kentish Town charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Kentish Town.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Kentish Town state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Where you dont have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Kentish Town. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Kentish Town property is Flat 2 27 Mackeson Road in December 2012. The Tribunal assessed the value of the lease extension premium at £35,435 and rounded the figure to £35,500 This case related to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 64.77 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Kentish Town