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Kingsbury leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Kingsbury. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Kingsbury - 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.

I’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Kingsbury.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you discharge 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 until 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Kingsbury. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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 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).

I work for a long established estate agency in Kingsbury where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Kingsbury conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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.

We expect to complete our sale of a £275000 apartment in Kingsbury in seven days. The management company has quoted £336 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Kingsbury?

Kingsbury conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates the purchaser’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be content to assist. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it exceeds £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 technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

I have given up negotiating a lease extension in Kingsbury. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

if there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the price.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Kingsbury property is 27B Hillside in February 2010. the resulting premium, all other aspects of the valuation having been agreed between the parties was set at £8,250 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 70.25 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Kingsbury