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

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Top Five Questions relating to White City leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in White City. Before I get started I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in White City - 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 tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in White City both have approximately 50 years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena

I work for a busy estate agency in White City where we see a number of flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local White City conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with 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 purchaser.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a White City conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (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 make enquires with several firms including non White City conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice 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 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 with the aim of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in White City can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? White City leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you fail to have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in the first instance.
  • Some White City leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of 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 ongoing. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Arranging a new share certificate is often a time consuming formality and delays many a White City home move. If a new share is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • I own a second floor flat in White City. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for a lease extension?

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

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision 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 affected 2 flats. The unexpired term was 64.5 years.