Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in North Sheen:

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Questions and Answers: North Sheen leasehold conveyancing

I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in North Sheen. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in North Sheen are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in North Sheen so you should seriously consider looking for a North Sheen conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.

Back In 2008, I bought a leasehold house in North Sheen. Conveyancing and The Mortgage Works mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in North Sheen who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a North Sheen conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. 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 long established estate agency in North Sheen where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local North Sheen conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities 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. 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 has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

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.

All being well we will complete our sale of a £175000 flat in North Sheen on Monday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in North Sheen?

North Sheen conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally requires the buyer’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.

I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a North Sheen conveyancing firm to help?

Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a North Sheen conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a North Sheen premises is Flat 1 30 Ennismore Avenue in September 2010. the Tribunal adopted and arrived at a premium for the lease extension of £29, 900 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 68.34 years.

What makes a North Sheen lease unmortgageable?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in North Sheen. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
  • Insurance obligations
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

You will have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Yorkshire Building Society, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and TSB all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.