Leasehold Conveyancing in South West London - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

While any conveyancing practice can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in South West London, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Recently asked questions relating to South West London leasehold conveyancing

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in South West London. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in South West London are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in South West London in which case you should be shopping around for a South West London conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.

I work for a long established estate agent office in South West London where we see a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local South West London conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as 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. This means 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 prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding 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 he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non South West London conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in South West London in the last 12 months?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in South West London from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in South West London can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? South West London leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Where you dont have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • A minority of South West London leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. 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 are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Having spent years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in South West London. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a South West London conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case 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 unexpired term was 71.63 years.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in South West London what are the most common lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in South West London. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You will have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Bank of Scotland, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in South West London