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Questions and Answers: Kilburn leasehold conveyancing

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Kilburn. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Kilburn ?

Most houses in Kilburn are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Kilburn so you should seriously consider looking for a Kilburn conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in dealing with 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 with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Kilburn both have in the region of 50 years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Kilburn is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Kilburn conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Kilburn. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. 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).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Kilburn conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Kilburn conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Kilburn conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Kilburn who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the costs for lease extension conveyancing?

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £325000 maisonette in Kilburn next week. The management company has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Kilburn?

    For most leasehold sales in Kilburn conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Kilburn
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Kilburn leasehold premises is £350. For Kilburn conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to supply the information.

    Following years of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Kilburn. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Kilburn conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Kilburn residence is 4 & 4A Charteris Road in June 2009. the Tribunal held that the price to be paid for the enfranchisement of 4/4a Charteris Road to be £15,510 for at 4and £15,694 for at 4a This case affected 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 70.02 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Kilburn