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Questions and Answers: Wealdstone leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a garden flat in Wealdstone. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they are sending me a report tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Wealdstone should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • Whether the lease restricts you from letting out the flat, or having a home office for business
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Wealdstone please ask your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Wealdstone

  • I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Wealdstone. Conveyancing solicitors have are about 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. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Wealdstone so you should seriously consider looking for a Wealdstone conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.

    I am attracted to a two flats in Wealdstone both have in the region of 50 years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

    There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Wealdstone is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. For most buyers and mortgage companies, 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 premises 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 Wealdstone conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 any new 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 appointing a Wealdstone conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Wealdstone conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Wealdstone conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

    • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Wealdstone who can give a testimonial?

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £275000 maisonette in Wealdstone in nine days. The landlords agents has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Wealdstone?

    Wealdstone conveyancing on leasehold flats normally requires the purchaser’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries most will be content to assist. They may invoice a reasonable administration fee 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 cases it exceeds £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Wealdstone conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    in cases where there is a missing landlord or if 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 judgment on the price.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Wealdstone premises 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 74 years.