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St John's Wood leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

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

A small minority of properties in St John's Wood do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

I’m about to sell my garden apartment in St John's Wood.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

It best that you discharge the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in St John's Wood where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local St John's Wood conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a St John's Wood conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a St John's Wood conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non St John's Wood conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in St John's Wood who can give a testimonial?

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £500000 maisonette in St John's Wood next Monday . The managing agents has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in St John's Wood?

    St John's Wood conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not requires the purchaser’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They are at liberty charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

    Having spent years of negotiations we cannot 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?

    Most definitely. We are happy to 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 premises 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 60.16 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in St John's Wood