Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Southall

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Frequently asked questions relating to Southall leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years left on my flat in Southall. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Southall.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Southall. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Southall ?

The majority of houses in Southall are freehold and not 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. It is clear that you are buying in Southall so you should seriously consider looking for a Southall conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.

I am looking at a couple of apartments in Southall both have in the region of fifty years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are plenty of short leases in Southall. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is generally wise to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field

I work for a reputable estate agent office in Southall where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Southall conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have 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 simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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.

We expect to complete our sale of a £325000 maisonette in Southall next Thursday . The freeholder has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Southall?

Southall conveyancing on leasehold apartments typically results in administration charges levied by management companies :

  • Answering conveyancing due diligence questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Southall
  • Supplying insurance information
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Southall leasehold property is £350. For Southall conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide answers.

I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Southall. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the premium.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Southall premises is 33 Barbican Road in January 2013. The Tribunals calculation of the lease extension premium payable was £17,592. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 55.12 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Southall