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Common questions relating to Whetstone leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Whetstone. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Whetstone - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.

There are only Sixty One years unexpired on my flat in Whetstone. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Whetstone.

I’m about to sell my ground floor flat in Whetstone.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

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

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Whetstone can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Whetstone charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. 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 Whetstone.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Whetstone state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Where you dont have the paperwork in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge 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 present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a new share certificate is often a time consuming process and slows down many a Whetstone conveyancing deal. Where a reissued share certificate is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £450000 flat in Whetstone next Wednesday . The management company has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Whetstone?

    Whetstone conveyancing on leasehold apartments often requires the buyer’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Whetstone. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Whetstone conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Whetstone property is Flat 2 2 Netherfield Road in April 2010. The Tribunale held that premium payable for a 90 year extension to the existing Lease should be £7,705. This case related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 76 years.