Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in West Kensington

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

Questions and Answers: West Kensington leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in West Kensington. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in West Kensington - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I am looking at a two maisonettes in West Kensington both have about fifty years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in West Kensington is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat 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 property 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 West Kensington 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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.

I am employed by a busy estate agent office in West Kensington where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local West Kensington conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to 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 before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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 buyer.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a West Kensington conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a West Kensington conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non West Kensington conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in West Kensington who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in West Kensington from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in West Kensington can be avoided if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in West Kensington state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. If you fail to have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor in advance.
  • Some West Kensington leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a West Kensington conveyancing deal. If a reissued share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • We have reached the end of our tether in negotiating a lease extension in West Kensington. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a West Kensington conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a West Kensington flat is 93 Oakwood Court in June 2010. the LVT determined that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £492,083, This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 37.79 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in West Kensington