Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Southfields:

While any conveyancing practice can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Southfields, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Southfields leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I want to rent out my leasehold apartment in Southfields. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Your lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Southfields do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.

I own a leasehold house in Southfields. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Southfields who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Southfields conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Southfields. 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 owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Southfields with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Southfields can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Southfields charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Southfields.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Southfields leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in advance.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge 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 details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I am the proprietor of a ground-floor 1960’s flat in Southfields. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to judgment on the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Southfields flat is 83 Balvernie Grove in February 2012. The Tribunal assessed the price to be paid by the leaseholder to the freeholder for the lease extension pursuant to section 48 of the Leasehold Reform Housing & Urban Development Act 1993 should be£16,603.00 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 69.32 years.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Southfields what are the most frequent lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Southfields. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You may encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.