Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Maida Hill

While any conveyancing practice can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Maida Hill, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Recently asked questions relating to Maida Hill leasehold conveyancing

Jane (my partner) and I may need to let out our Maida Hill 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Maida Hill conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

The lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Maida Hill do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Maida Hill. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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 agent office in Maida Hill where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Maida Hill conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start 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 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 has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 buyer.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Maida Hill conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Maida Hill conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Maida Hill conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • What are the charges for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Maida Hill from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Maida Hill can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
    • Many landlords or Management Companies in Maida Hill charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover 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 frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Maida Hill.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Maida Hill state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you dont have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride 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 buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 80 years. It is therefore essential 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 property on the market for sale.

  • I am the leaseholder of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Maida Hill. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for a lease extension?

    if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Maida Hill premises is Flat 1 57 Oxford Gardens in January 2014. the Tribunal decided that the premium to be paidfor a new lease is £61,650.00. This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 60 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Maida Hill