Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in West Drayton

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West Drayton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in West Drayton. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in West Drayton ?

Most houses in West Drayton 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 West Drayton in which case you should be shopping around for a West Drayton conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in West Drayton. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. 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 a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in West Drayton where we have witnessed a number of flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local West Drayton conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 buyer.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in West Drayton from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in West Drayton can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in West Drayton levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in West Drayton.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in West Drayton state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. If you fail to have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer in the first instance.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in West Drayton. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    in cases where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, 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 decide the price.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a West Drayton flat is 164 Nestles Avenue in October 2013. The tribunal agreed with the proposed price of £20,158 for the freehold and determined that that sum is the amount to be paid into court This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 69 years.

    What makes a West Drayton lease problematic?

    Leasehold conveyancing in West Drayton is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    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. National Westminster Bank, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester 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 problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in West Drayton