Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Kew:

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Kew leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Jane (my partner) and I may need to rent out our Kew 1st floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Kew conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Even though your previous Kew conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the premises. The accepted inference is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to obtain permission via your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years left on my lease in Kew. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What should I do?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. On the whole a specialist may be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Kew.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Kew. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Kew who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Kew conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Kew. 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. 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).

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Kew with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Kew can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Kew leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. Should you dont have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • A minority of Kew leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Organising a new share certificate is often a time consuming process and frustrates many a Kew home move. If a duplicate share is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I own a garden flat in Kew. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Kew flat 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 affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 68.34 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Kew