Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Knightsbridge:

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Knightsbridge leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Knightsbridge. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Knightsbridge - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.

There are only 68 years remaining on my flat in Knightsbridge. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the lessor. In some cases a specialist would be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Knightsbridge.

I am hoping to complete next month on a garden flat in Knightsbridge. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they report fully on Monday. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Knightsbridge should include some of the following:

  • The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • The total extent of the property. This will be the flat itself but may include a roof space or cellar if appropriate.
  • Will you be prohibited or prevented from having pets in the property?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Knightsbridge please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Knightsbridge

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Knightsbridge from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Knightsbridge can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Knightsbridge levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Knightsbridge.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Knightsbridge leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such works. Should you fail to have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Knightsbridge conveyancing transaction. Where a duplicate share is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £125000 garden flat in Knightsbridge in 8 days. The landlords agents has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Knightsbridge?

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

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Knightsbridge
    • 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 Knightsbridge leasehold premises is £350. For Knightsbridge 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 obliged to supply answers.

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

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Knightsbridge conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Knightsbridge premises is Flat 3 47 Cadogan Square in December 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable to the landord by the leaseholder for the lease extension was £732,935 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 13.33 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Knightsbridge