Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in West Hendon

While any conveyancing practice can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in West Hendon, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Sample questions relating to West Hendon leasehold conveyancing

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in West Hendon. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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 employed by a long established estate agency in West Hendon where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local West Hendon conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in West Hendon from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in West Hendon can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in West Hendon levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to 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 frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in West Hendon.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy process and delays many a West Hendon conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £150000 maisonette in West Hendon next Tuesday . The managing agents has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in West Hendon?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in West Hendon conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in West Hendon
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for West Hendon leasehold property is £350. For West Hendon conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to supply the information.

    I inherited a two-bedroom flat in West Hendon. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for a lease extension?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a West Hendon conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a West Hendon premises is First Floor Flat 61 Wilberforce Road in March 2014. The premium payable was £10,130 and the case was remitted back to the Willesden County Court to effect the Vesting Order (Claim No 3W103100). This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 71 years.

    What are the frequently found problems that you encounter in leases for West Hendon properties?

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

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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

    You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Chelsea Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in West Hendon