Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Norbiton:

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

Questions and Answers: Norbiton leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Norbiton. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Norbiton are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Norbiton so you should seriously consider looking for a Norbiton conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.

I own a leasehold flat in Norbiton. Conveyancing and Nationwide Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Norbiton who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Norbiton conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Norbiton where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Norbiton conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 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.

An alternative approach is 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Norbiton from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Norbiton can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Norbiton levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Norbiton.
  • A minority of Norbiton 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 obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Norbiton home move. Where a new share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • After years of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Norbiton. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    if there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the LVT to decide the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Norbiton 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 related to 1 flat.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Norbiton what are the most frequent lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Norbiton. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You will 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. Lloyds TSB Bank, Virgin Money, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express 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 provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Norbiton