Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Kingsbury:

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Kingsbury leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Kingsbury basement flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Kingsbury conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Kingsbury do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

There are only Fifty years left on my lease in Kingsbury. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?

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 extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Kingsbury.

I work for a reputable estate agency in Kingsbury where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Kingsbury conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, 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 buyer.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Kingsbury conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a solicitor 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 work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Kingsbury conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Kingsbury who can give a testimonial?

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £200000 apartment in Kingsbury next Monday . The landlords agents has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Kingsbury?

    Kingsbury conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually requires the purchaser’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions the majority will be willing to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable charge 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 £350, in some cases it is above £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.

    Having spent months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Kingsbury. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    if there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the LVT to make a decision on the price payable.

    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 related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 70.25 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Kingsbury