Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in South Kensington:

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South Kensington leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in South Kensington. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in South Kensington - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in South Kensington. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in South Kensington who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a South Kensington conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in South Kensington. Do I have any liability for 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 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).

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a South Kensington conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a South Kensington conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non South Kensington conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

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

  • I am the leaseholder of a garden flat in South Kensington. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a South Kensington conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a South Kensington property is Flat 16 21/22 Stanhope Gardens in November 2010. the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal concluded that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, was £106,975 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 51.93 years.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in South Kensington what are the most frequent lease problems?

    Leasehold conveyancing in South Kensington is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Barnsley Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in South Kensington