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Questions and Answers: Kilburn leasehold conveyancing

There are only Fifty years remaining on my flat in Kilburn. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the lessor. On the whole a specialist may be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Kilburn.

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Kilburn. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Kilburn are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Kilburn in which case you should be looking for a Kilburn conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Kilburn where we see a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Kilburn conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as 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 need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with 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.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Kilburn from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Kilburn can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Kilburn levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Kilburn.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Arranging a replacement share certificate is often a time consuming process and frustrates many a Kilburn conveyancing deal. Where a reissued share certificate is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £325000 maisonette in Kilburn on Thursday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Kilburn?

    Kilburn conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not requires the purchaser’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.

    I inherited a two-bedroom flat in Kilburn. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for a lease extension?

    You certainly can. We can 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 premises 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 related to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 70.02 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Kilburn