Leasehold Conveyancing in Mortlake - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Recently asked questions relating to Mortlake leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Mortlake. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Mortlake ?

The majority of houses in Mortlake are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Mortlake so you should seriously consider looking for a Mortlake conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

Back In 2007, I bought a leasehold house in Mortlake. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Mortlake who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Mortlake 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 rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Mortlake. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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).

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Mortlake from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Mortlake can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Mortlake charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Mortlake.
  • A minority of Mortlake 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 obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Mortlake conveyancing deal. If a reissued share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Mortlake. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    Where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Mortlake property is 19 St. Margarets Crescent in August 2010. the tribunal was of the view that the premium to be paid by the leaseholder for the freehold reversion was £51,983.00 This case was in relation to 3 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 66.25 years.

    What are the common deficiencies that you see in leases for Mortlake properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Mortlake is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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

    You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Virgin Money, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed 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 grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Mortlake