Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Paddington

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Recently asked questions relating to Paddington leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Paddington.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly service 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 management companies 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 found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Paddington. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Paddington are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Paddington so you should seriously consider looking for a Paddington conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Paddington which have about 50 years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

A lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease reduces and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Paddington. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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 be sure 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).

If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £150000 garden flat in Paddington in 5 days. The freeholder has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Paddington?

For most leasehold sales in Paddington conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

  • Answering pre-contract enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Paddington
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Paddington leasehold premises is £350. For Paddington conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide answers.

I have given up seeking a lease extension in Paddington. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the price payable.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Paddington residence is Flats 37 & 39 88/90 Portland Place in December 2010. The Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the lease extensions in respect of these two flats is as follows:- For Flat 37, the sum of £385,230.00 For Flat 39, the sum of £436,780.00 This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired term was 24.02 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Paddington