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Lampton leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Lampton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is discharge the service charge 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 unless 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.

I own a leasehold house in Lampton. Conveyancing and Aldermore mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Lampton who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Lampton conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I work for a long established estate agency in Lampton where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Lampton conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Lampton with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Lampton can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Lampton charge for supplying 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 as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. 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 Lampton.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Lampton leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Should you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
  • A minority of Lampton leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (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.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Lampton home move. Where a new share is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Having spent months of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Lampton. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder 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 determine the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Lampton premises is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 60.45 years.

    Are there common deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Lampton properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Lampton. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Skipton Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express requirements 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 purchaser to withdraw.