Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Wealdstone:

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Common questions relating to Wealdstone leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to let out my leasehold apartment in Wealdstone. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Some leases for properties in Wealdstone do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Wealdstone. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Wealdstone ?

The majority of houses in Wealdstone are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Wealdstone so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Wealdstone 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. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

I own a leasehold house in Wealdstone. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Wealdstone who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First contact HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Wealdstone conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Wealdstone. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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).

I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Wealdstone where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Wealdstone conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the purchaser.

After years of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Wealdstone. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

Where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the price.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Wealdstone residence is 139/139A Masons Avenue in February 2010. this was a case with an absentee freeholder. As a result the leaseholders applied to Willesden County Court for an order dispensing with the giving of a notice of claim.14th October 2009 District Judge Brar granted a vesting order and the court directed that the matter should be transferred to this tribunal to determine the freehold premium. The tribunal concluded on a figure of £13,000 for the freehold interest This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 74 years.