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Buying or selling your lease

Find out more about buying or selling a lease and your responsibilities as a leaseholder.

Published on: 8 January 2021

Last updated: 28 April 2022

Selling your lease

If you are a Westminster leaseholder and are only interested in selling your property back to the council then we will happily refer your interest to the relevant team at Westminster City Council. Please note that if you originally purchased your property directly from Westminster City Council under the Right To Buy Scheme then under the terms of your lease you may be required to offer ‘right of first refusal’ to Westminster City Council.

Westminster Council are actively purchasing suitable properties on the open market for use as affordable housing.

Once you accept an offer (subject to contract), you and the purchaser instruct your respective solicitors to deal with the sale or purchase.

Your solicitor will obtain proof of your ownership of the flat, which is usually a copy of your title from the Land Registry.

Following the receipt of this document, your solicitor will prepare a draft contract of sale and send to the purchasers’ solicitor, with a copy of your title, copy of the freeholder’s title and a copy of your lease.

The buyer’s solicitor will undertake searches and make enquiries about the flat. This will include your solicitor requesting an assignment pack from the leasehold operations team. We can only supply this pack to you, the seller, or your representatives.

An assignment pack includes:

  • the current balance of the service charge account
  • the last three years actual expenditure accounts
  • a full and final major works statement
  • major works planned to be undertaken during the next five years
  • building insurance details
  • registration information
  • details of any unauthorised alterations
  • general information that a prospective purchaser would require

There is a £200 (VAT not applicable) fee for this assignment pack to be issued. 

Once the enquiries are completed and the contract agreed, contracts can be exchanged, a deposit paid and a completion date is set.

Buying a lease

If Westminster City Council is the landlord or the freeholder of the property you wish to buy, you need to instruct your solicitor to request an assignment pack from the seller's solicitor.

Your responsibilities

You are liable for any outstanding service charges and future liabilities when you become a leaseholder.

New purchases must be registered within 21 days. Your solicitor should send the following documents to the leasehold operations team.

  • a certified copy of the transfer deed
  • if applicable, a copy of the legal charge
  • £50 (VAT not applicable) administration fee for each registration

To find out more about buying or selling your property please contact our Leasehold Operations team.

Call: 0800 358 3783 (freephone)

Email: [email protected]