Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Knightsbridge:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Knightsbridge leasehold conveyancing

Expecting to exchange soon on a studio apartment in Knightsbridge. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report next week. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • The total extent of the property. This will be the apartment itself but might include a roof space or cellar if applicable.
  • Does the lease require carpeting throughout thus preventing wood flooring?
  • Does the lease prevent you from subletting the flat, or working from home
  • You should be told what constitutes a Nuisance in the lease
  • 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
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat For a comprehensive list of 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

  • My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Knightsbridge. Conveyancing and Nottingham Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Knightsbridge who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

    First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Knightsbridge conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

    I've recently bought a leasehold property in Knightsbridge. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

    In a situation 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).

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

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Knightsbridge can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Knightsbridge 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 pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Knightsbridge.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Knightsbridge leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. If you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not contact 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 essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where a dispute is ongoing. You may have to bite the bullet and pay 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 are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Knightsbridge home move. If a new share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Knightsbridge conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Knightsbridge property 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 related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 13.33 years.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Knightsbridge what are the most common lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Knightsbridge. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Virgin Money, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Knightsbridge