Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Kingsbury:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Kingsbury leasehold conveyancing

I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Kingsbury which have in the region of 50 years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Kingsbury is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 Kingsbury 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new 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 Kingsbury. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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).

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Kingsbury conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Kingsbury conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Kingsbury conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Kingsbury with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Kingsbury can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Kingsbury charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Kingsbury.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Kingsbury leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. If you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer in the first instance.
  • Some Kingsbury leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual 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 lawyers.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left 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. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you consider 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.

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £325000 maisonette in Kingsbury in six days. The managing agents has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Kingsbury?

    Kingsbury conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally requires the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be content to assist. They may levy a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Kingsbury conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Kingsbury premises 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 related to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 70.25 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Kingsbury