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Notting Hill leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Notting Hill. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Notting Hill are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Notting Hill in which case you should be looking for a Notting Hill conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold flat in Notting Hill. Conveyancing and TSB mortgage organised. I have received a letter 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 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Notting Hill who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Notting Hill conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am attracted to a couple of flats in Notting Hill which have about fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Notting Hill where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Notting Hill conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. 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 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 advice for leasehold conveyancing in Notting Hill with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Notting Hill can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Notting Hill charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Notting Hill.
  • A minority of Notting Hill leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, 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 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 better to present the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider 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 attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Notting Hill conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Notting Hill conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Notting Hill residence is 2 Grove House 95 Addison Road in October 2013. the Tribunal decided that the premium to bepaid for a new lease is £50,050. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 68.4 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Notting Hill