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Ruislip leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Due to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Ruislip. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they report fully within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Ruislip should include some of the following:

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Defining your legal entitlements in relation to the communal areas in the building.By way of example, does the lease permit a right of way over a path or hallways?
  • Are you allowed to have a pet in the flat?
  • Whether the lease restricts you from letting out the property, or having a home office for business
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Ruislip please enquire of your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Ruislip

  • I’m about to sell my garden flat in Ruislip.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

    It best that you discharge the invoice 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 unless 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 am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Ruislip which have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

    A lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field

    I am employed by a busy estate agency in Ruislip where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Ruislip conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can commence 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 kick-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 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 simultaneously with 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 purchaser.

    Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Ruislip from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Ruislip can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • A minority of Ruislip leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Arranging a duplicate share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Ruislip conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share certificate is required, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible 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.

  • Following years of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Ruislip. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Ruislip residence is Flat 72 Queens Walk in January 2013. The Tribunals calculated the premium payable to be £22,090. This case related to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 53.26 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Ruislip