Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage:

Any conveyancing practice can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Recently asked questions relating to Swiss Cottage leasehold conveyancing

I want to rent out my leasehold apartment in Swiss Cottage. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Your lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Swiss Cottage do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.

I have recently realised that I have 62 years unexpired on my flat in Swiss Cottage. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. In some cases a specialist would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Swiss Cottage.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Swiss Cottage. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Swiss Cottage are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Swiss Cottage in which case you should be looking for a Swiss Cottage conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Swiss Cottage. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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 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 Swiss Cottage with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage can be avoided if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Swiss Cottage charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Swiss Cottage leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such works. Should you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • A minority of Swiss Cottage leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is unresolved. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.

  • After months of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Swiss Cottage. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    in cases where there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to judgment on the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Swiss Cottage residence is Raised Ground Floor Flat 20 Fitzjohns Avenue in July 2014. the Tribunal decided that the premiums to be paid for new leases in respect of the Raised Ground Floor Flat and the First Floor Flat were to be calculated as: Raised Ground Floor: £765,175.14 First Floor: £601,617.77 This case related to 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 16.83 and 16.43.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Swiss Cottage