Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in North Kensington

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Frequently asked questions relating to North Kensington leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in North Kensington. Before diving in I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in North Kensington - 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.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in North Kensington.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you clear 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 managing agents 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.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in North Kensington. 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 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. It is an essential part 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 busy estate agent office in North Kensington where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local North Kensington conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as 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.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in North Kensington with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in North Kensington can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in North Kensington levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover 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 common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in North Kensington.
  • Some North Kensington leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual 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 have the original share document. Arranging a new share certificate can be a time consuming formality and slows down many a North Kensington conveyancing deal. Where a reissued share certificate is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is 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.

  • Having spent years of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in North Kensington. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a North Kensington conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a North Kensington property is 93 Oakwood Court in June 2010. the LVT determined that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £492,083, This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 37.79 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in North Kensington