Recently asked questions relating to Wandsworth leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my basement apartment in Wandsworth.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is pay 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.
I am looking at a couple of apartments in Wandsworth which have approximately fifty years unexpired on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Wandsworth is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the premises. For most buyers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Wandsworth conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Wandsworth conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Wandsworth conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Wandsworth conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
All being well we will complete the disposal of our £450000 flat in Wandsworth next week. The management company has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Wandsworth?
Wandsworth conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually requires the purchaser’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions the majority will be content to assist. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the charge is technically not due. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Wandsworth conveyancing firm to represent me?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Wandsworth conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Wandsworth flat 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 affected 2 flats.
What makes a Wandsworth lease unacceptable for security purposes?
Leasehold conveyancing in Wandsworth is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Bank of Scotland, and Barclays Direct all have express conveyancing instructions 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, obliging the buyer to withdraw.