Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Petersham

Any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Petersham, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Questions and Answers: Petersham leasehold conveyancing

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Petersham. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Petersham are freehold rather than 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 apparent that you are purchasing in Petersham so you should seriously consider looking for a Petersham conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Petersham. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. 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 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).

I work for a busy estate agency in Petersham where we see a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Petersham conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. 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.

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 buyer.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Petersham conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Petersham conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Petersham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Petersham who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Petersham with the aim of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Petersham can be avoided where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Petersham charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Petersham.
  • A minority of Petersham leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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 there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You will have to accept that you will have to 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 ahead of 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 present the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming formality and slows down many a Petersham conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • I am the leaseholder of a garden flat in Petersham. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for the purchase of the freehold?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Petersham conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Petersham property is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 60.45 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Petersham