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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Wandsworth

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Wandsworth.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you discharge the service charge 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 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.

What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Wandsworth conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Wandsworth conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Wandsworth conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Wandsworth from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Wandsworth can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Wandsworth charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Wandsworth.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Wandsworth leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Should you dont have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in the first instance.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where a dispute is unsettled. You may have to bite the bullet and 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a new share certificate can be a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Wandsworth home move. Where a reissued share is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £275000 apartment in Wandsworth next week. The management company has quoted £324 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Wandsworth?

    Wandsworth conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not involves the purchaser’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.

    Having spent months of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Wandsworth. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    in cases 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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the amount due.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Wandsworth property is 4 Galveston Road in August 2012. The Tribunal determined that the price payable in respect of the purchase of the freehold was £22,650. The Tribunal remited this matter back to the Wandsworth County Court for execution of the freehold Transfer Deed. This case was in relation to 2 flats.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Wandsworth what are the most common lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Wandsworth. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and Aldermore all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Wandsworth