Leasehold Conveyancing in Westcombe Park - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

Leasehold conveyancing in Westcombe Park is more complex than freehold. Your home move will be smoother where you choose a lawyer with a wealth of experience of leasehold conveyancing in Westcombe Park and across next step up in loc. The lawyers we recommend have been approved by your lender so use our search tool to check.

Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Westcombe Park

I am looking at a two apartments in Westcombe Park both have approximately 50 years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Westcombe Park is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 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 Westcombe Park conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Westcombe Park. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 agency in Westcombe Park where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Westcombe Park conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. 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 disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Westcombe Park with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Westcombe Park can be avoided where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Westcombe Park levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. 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 reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Westcombe Park.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Westcombe Park leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Should you fail to have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in advance.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Westcombe Park home move. If a duplicate share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Following years of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Westcombe Park. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    if there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to assess the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Westcombe Park property is 73 Walerand Road in August 2012. the result of the findings of the Tribunal led to a premium to be paid for the extended lease in respect of Flat 73 in the sum of £10,040. The premium applicable in respect of Flat 85 was £5,710. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 72 years.

    What makes a Westcombe Park lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Westcombe Park. All leases are individual 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:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Chelsea Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.