Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Abbey Wood

While any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Abbey Wood, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Abbey Wood

I have just started marketing my garden apartment in Abbey Wood.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you pay the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Abbey Wood. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Abbey Wood 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. It is clear that you are purchasing in Abbey Wood so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Abbey Wood conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

I am looking at a two maisonettes in Abbey Wood which have in the region of forty five years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Abbey Wood is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Abbey Wood conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I work for a busy estate agency in Abbey Wood where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Abbey Wood conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that 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 buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 buyer.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Abbey Wood from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Abbey Wood can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Abbey Wood levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Abbey Wood.
  • A minority of Abbey Wood leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to 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 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Organising a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy process and delays many a Abbey Wood conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years 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.

  • After months of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Abbey Wood. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Where there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Abbey Wood property is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case was in relation to 13 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 76 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Abbey Wood