Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in West London:

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

Frequently asked questions relating to West London leasehold conveyancing

Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our West London garden flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a West London conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in West London do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 am hoping to exchange soon on a basement flat in West London. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in West London should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • Are you allowed to have a pet in the flat?
  • You need to be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide. For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in West London please ask your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in West London

  • I today plan to offer on a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in West London. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

    The majority of houses in West London are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in West London in which case you should be shopping around for a West London conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.

    I've recently bought a leasehold property in West London. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

    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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in West London with the intention of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in West London can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • Many landlords or Management Companies in West London levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in West London.
  • Some West London leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride 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 better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a West London conveyancing deal. If a new share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • Having spent months of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in West London. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a West London flat is 137 & 139 Haberdasher Street in December 2013. The Tribunal determines in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease for each Property should be £12,350.00. This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired term was 72.39 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in West London