Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage:

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Sample questions relating to Swiss Cottage leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor flat in Swiss Cottage.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Swiss Cottage. Do I have any liability for 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. However, 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 are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Swiss Cottage conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Swiss Cottage conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Swiss Cottage conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Swiss Cottage who can give a testimonial?

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £200000 garden flat in Swiss Cottage in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Swiss Cottage?

    Swiss Cottage conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often involves the purchaser’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be content to do so. They may charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

    I am the registered owner of a ground-floor 1950’s flat in Swiss Cottage. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    Where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to calculate the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Swiss Cottage flat 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.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage what are the most common lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You may have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Skipton Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Swiss Cottage