Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Southfields

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Southfields, you will need to instruct a conveyancing solicitor with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Clydesdale , Yorkshire Building Society or Bradford & Bingley make sure you find a lawyer on their approved list. Find a Southfields conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Questions and Answers: Southfields leasehold conveyancing

I own a leasehold house in Southfields. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Southfields who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Southfields conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Southfields which have approximately forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are plenty of short leases in Southfields. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease shortens the value of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Southfields. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. It is an essential part 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 top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Southfields from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Southfields can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Southfields leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Where you dont have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor before hand.
  • Some Southfields leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £425000 maisonette in Southfields next week. The freeholder has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Southfields?

    Southfields conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally necessitates administration charges levied by landlords agents :

    • Addressing pre-exchange enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Southfields
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Southfields leasehold property is £350. For Southfields 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 required to supply answers.

    Following months of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Southfields. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to judgment on the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Southfields property 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 affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 69.32 years.