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
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.
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.