Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in New Malden

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Frequently asked questions relating to New Malden leasehold conveyancing

Looking forward to complete next month on a ground floor flat in New Malden. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they report fully within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • The physical extent of the premises. This will be the apartment itself but might incorporate a loft or basement if applicable.
  • 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
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in New Malden please ask your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in New Malden

  • I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in New Malden. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

    Most houses in New Malden are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in New Malden in which case you should be looking for a New Malden conveyancing solicitor 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 comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.

    Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold flat in New Malden. Conveyancing and Nottingham Building Society mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in New Malden who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

    First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a New Malden conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

    Last month I purchased a leasehold property in New Malden. 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 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).

    Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in New Malden with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in New Malden can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in New Malden charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for 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 common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in New Malden.
  • A minority of New Malden leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is below 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a New Malden conveyancing firm to help?

    Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the LVT to assess the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a New Malden residence is Flat D 15 Claremont Gardens in September 2013. TheTribunal determined in accordance with section48 and Schedule13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty seven pounds (£14,187.00) This case affected 1 flat.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in New Malden