Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in St John's Wood:

Leasehold conveyancing in St John's Wood is more complex than freehold. Your home move will be smoother where you choose a lawyer with a wealth of experience of leasehold conveyancing in St John's Wood and next step up in loc. The lawyers we recommend have been approved by your lender so use our search tool to check.

St John's Wood leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I want to rent out my leasehold flat in St John's Wood. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

A lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in St John's Wood do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in St John's Wood which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the lease term. should I be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in St John's Wood is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with St John's Wood conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in St John's Wood. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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 advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a St John's Wood conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a St John's Wood conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non St John's Wood conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in St John's Wood who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in St John's Wood with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St John's Wood can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in St John's Wood state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Should you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer first.
  • Some St John's Wood leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate can be a time consuming formality and frustrates many a St John's Wood conveyancing transaction. Where a new share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

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

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a St John's Wood conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a St John's Wood flat is Garden Flat 195 Goldhurst Terrace in May 2012. The Tribunal held in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be £60,855.00. This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 60.16 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in St John's Wood