Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in St John's Wood

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Common questions relating to St John's Wood leasehold conveyancing

I want to let out my leasehold apartment 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 their consent?

Even though your last St John's Wood conveyancing lawyer is not available you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain permission from your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining permission. Such consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Due to sign contracts shortly on a leasehold property in St John's Wood. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in St John's Wood should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Setting out your legal entitlements in relation to common areas in the block.E.G., does the lease permit a right of way over an accessway or staircase?
  • Will you be prohibited or prevented from having pets in the property?
  • Whether the lease restricts you from renting out the property, or having a home office for business
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • What you can do if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in St John's Wood please ask your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in St John's Wood

  • I own a leasehold flat in St John's Wood. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in St John's Wood who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

    The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a St John's Wood conveyancing practitioner 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 legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

    What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a St John's Wood conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a St John's Wood conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non St John's Wood conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

    • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • What volume of lease extensions have they conducted in St John's Wood in the last 12 months?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in St John's Wood from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in St John's Wood can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in St John's Wood state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you dont have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer first.
  • A minority of St John's Wood leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the yearly 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 purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride 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 are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • After months of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in St John's Wood. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a St John's Wood property 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 affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 60.16 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in St John's Wood