Leasehold Conveyancing in Old Malden - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

Any conveyancing practice can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Old Malden, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Recently asked questions relating to Old Malden leasehold conveyancing

My fiance and I may need to let out our Old Malden garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Old Malden conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Old Malden do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

I am attracted to a couple of flats in Old Malden which have about forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are plenty of short leases in Old Malden. The lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease reduces and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Old Malden. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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).

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Old Malden where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Old Malden conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.

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

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Old Malden can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Old Malden state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. Should you dont have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
  • Some Old Malden 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 bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is unsettled. 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I am the proprietor of a ground flat in Old Malden. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?

    Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Old Malden conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Old 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.