Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Mill Hill:

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Mill Hill leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Due to exchange soon on a leasehold property in Mill Hill. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • 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
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • What you can do if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Mill Hill please ask your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Mill Hill

  • I have just started marketing my 2 bed flat in Mill Hill.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

    Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

    Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Mill Hill. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

    Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).

    I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Mill Hill where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Mill Hill conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

    As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

    Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

    After months of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Mill Hill. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the LVT to calculate the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Mill Hill flat is Ground Floor Maisonette 17 Milton Road in January 2014. The Tribunal determined the premium payable by the Applicant to the should be £13,299 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 71.73 years.

    What makes a Mill Hill lease defective?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Mill Hill. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease will likely 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, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Mill Hill