Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in South Kensington:

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Sample questions relating to South Kensington leasehold conveyancing

Due to sign contracts shortly on a ground floor flat in South Kensington. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice?
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What you can do if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease?
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in South Kensington please ask your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in South Kensington

  • I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in South Kensington. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

    Most houses in South Kensington are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in South Kensington in which case you should be shopping around for a South Kensington conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to 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 with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.

    I am looking at a two maisonettes in South Kensington both have about forty five years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

    A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

    If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £175000 apartment in South Kensington next week. The freeholder has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in South Kensington?

    South Kensington conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often involves the purchaser’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    After years of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in South Kensington. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a South Kensington conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a South Kensington premises 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 affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 51.93 years.

    What makes a South Kensington lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in South Kensington. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Britannia all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in South Kensington