Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Millbank:

Any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Millbank, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Millbank

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Millbank. Before I get started I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Millbank - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.

I am attracted to a couple of flats in Millbank both have in the region of fifty years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Millbank is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Millbank conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Millbank. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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).

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Millbank where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Millbank conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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 buyer.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Millbank from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Millbank can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Millbank leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer first.
  • Some Millbank leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and delays many a Millbank home move. If a duplicate share certificate is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • I am the proprietor of a second floor flat in Millbank. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?

    Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Millbank conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Millbank flat is Flats 12A & 19, Evelyn Mansions Carlisle Place in June 2009. The Tribunal held that the price to be paid for the new lease of Flat 12A is £168,824, For the other flat the price was set at £169,110 This case was in relation to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 56 years.