Leasehold Conveyancing in White City - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Recently asked questions relating to White City leasehold conveyancing

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in White City. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in White City ?

The majority of houses in White City are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in White City in which case you should be looking for a White City conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary 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.

I work for a reputable estate agent office in White City where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local White City conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as 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 buyer 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 prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

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.

What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a White City conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a White City conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non White City conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in White City who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the charges for lease extension work?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in White City from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in White City can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in White City levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in White City.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential 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 have to bite the bullet and 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 prior to 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 as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming formality and delays many a White City conveyancing transaction. Where a new share certificate is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in negotiating a lease extension in White City. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to judgment on the price payable.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a White City flat is 23 & 23A Collingbourne Road in June 2013. Tribunal was dealing with the assessment of the value of the freehold reversion and determination of the terms of the acquisition pursuant to an Order of District Judge Lightman dated 25 February 2013 vesting the freehold interest in the property in the applicant. The tribunal assessed the price of the freehold (to which any arrears or other sums due to the missing landlord under the leases should be added) at £81,638. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 64.5 years.

    What are the common problems that you see in leases for White City properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in White City is not unique. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, Skipton Building Society, and Clydesdale 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 problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.