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Pimlico leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Pimlico. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they report fully on Monday. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Pimlico should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Defining your rights in relation to the communal areas in the building.For example, does the lease provide for a right of way over a path or staircase?
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice?
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Pimlico please ask your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Pimlico

  • I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Pimlico. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Pimlico ?

    The majority of houses in Pimlico are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Pimlico so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Pimlico conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.

    I am attracted to a two apartments in Pimlico both have approximately 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

    There are plenty of short leases in Pimlico. The lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the saleability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena

    I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Pimlico where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Pimlico conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

    As long as 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. 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 needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

    Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

    Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Pimlico conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

    If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Pimlico conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Pimlico 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 helpful:

    • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Pimlico conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    in cases where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to calculate the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Pimlico residence is Flats 12A & 19, Evelyn Mansions Carlisle Place in June 2009. The Tribunal held that the price to be paid for the new lease of Flat 12A is £168,824, For the other flat the price was set at £169,110 This case affected 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 56 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Pimlico