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Willesden leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Willesden. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Willesden - 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 wish to let out my leasehold flat in Willesden. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

A small minority of properties in Willesden do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Willesden. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Willesden ?

Most houses in Willesden are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Willesden so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Willesden conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First 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 for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Willesden where we see a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Willesden conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as 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 proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 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 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.

All being well we will complete the sale of our £175000 maisonette in Willesden next Monday . The freeholder has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Willesden?

Willesden conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. 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 situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has no option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

Following years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Willesden. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Willesden conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a lease Extension case for a Willesden residence is First Floor Flat 47 Huddlestone Road in December 2010. the Tribunal a valuation of £13,000 for a lease extension having been asked to consider the premium following a vesting order being granted by Willesden County Court On 14th September 2009 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 71.87 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Willesden