Questions and Answers: Kew leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Kew. Before diving in I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Kew - 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.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in Kew.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?
It best that you clear the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Kew. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Kew are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Kew in which case you should be looking for a Kew conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Kew where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Kew conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that 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 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.
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 buyer.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Kew conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Kew conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Kew conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in Kew in the last year?
Having spent years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Kew. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Kew property is Flat 1 30 Ennismore Avenue in September 2010. the Tribunal adopted and arrived at a premium for the lease extension of £29, 900 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 68.34 years.