Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Strawberry Hill:

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Recently asked questions relating to Strawberry Hill leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Strawberry Hill.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Strawberry Hill. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Strawberry Hill who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Strawberry Hill conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. 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.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Strawberry Hill. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. A critical element 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 are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Strawberry Hill conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Strawberry Hill conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Strawberry Hill conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Strawberry Hill in the last 12 months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Strawberry Hill who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Strawberry Hill with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Strawberry Hill can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Strawberry Hill charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Strawberry Hill.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Strawberry Hill leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in advance.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming formality and slows down many a Strawberry Hill conveyancing deal. Where a reissued share is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Strawberry Hill. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Strawberry Hill conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Strawberry Hill premises is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 60.45 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Strawberry Hill