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Teddington leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Teddington. Before diving in I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Teddington - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed apartment in Teddington.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Teddington. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Teddington from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Teddington can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Teddington charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Teddington.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Teddington state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such works. If you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in the first instance.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Organising a new share certificate is often a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Teddington home move. If a reissued share certificate is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • We expect to complete our sale of a £175000 garden flat in Teddington in 10 days. The managing agents has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Teddington?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Teddington conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Teddington
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Teddington leasehold premises is £350. For Teddington conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide the information.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Teddington conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    if there is a absentee 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 First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Teddington premises is Flat D 15 Claremont Gardens in September 2013. TheTribunal determined in accordance with section48 and Schedule13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty seven pounds (£14,187.00) This case was in relation to 1 flat.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Teddington