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Lampton leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I have just started marketing my basement flat in Lampton.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Lampton. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Lampton are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Lampton so you should seriously consider looking for a Lampton conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Lampton where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Lampton conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 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 at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 bypassed where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Lampton state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
  • Some Lampton leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the yearly 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and slows down many a Lampton conveyancing deal. Where a reissued share is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £500000 maisonette in Lampton next week. The management company has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Lampton?

    Lampton conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally involves the buyer’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They may charge a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it exceeds £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.

    I am the leaseholder of a ground-floor 1960’s flat in Lampton. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for a lease extension?

    Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the price payable.

    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 affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 60.45 years.