Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in South West London

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in South West London, you will need to chose a conveyancing lawyer with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Santander, Yorkshire Building Society or NatWest make sure you choose a lawyer on their panel. Feel free to use our search tool

South West London leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in South West London. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in South West London are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in South West London in which case you should be shopping around for a South West London conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.

What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a South West London conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a South West London conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non South West London conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • How many lease extensions have they carried out in South West London in the last twenty four months?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in South West London from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in South West London can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? South West London leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. If you dont have the paperwork in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • A minority of South West London leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than 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 lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £375000 flat in South West London in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in South West London?

    South West London conveyancing on leasehold apartments nine out of ten times results in fees being raised by freeholders :

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in South West London
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for South West London leasehold premises is £350. For South West London conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to supply answers.

    I am the leaseholder of a second floor flat in South West London. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a South West London conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a South West London residence is 78 & 80 Newport Road in January 2013. the Tribunal concluded that the premium to be paid by the leaseholder in respect of the freehold reversion is £23,105 This case affected 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 71.63 years.

    What are the common deficiencies that you witness in leases for South West London properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in South West London. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You could have 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. Yorkshire Building Society, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in South West London