Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Beckenham:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Beckenham leasehold conveyancing

There are only 68 years unexpired on my flat in Beckenham. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Beckenham.

I am attracted to a two apartments in Beckenham which have about forty five years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Beckenham is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty 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 property 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 premises 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 Beckenham conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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 long established estate agent office in Beckenham where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Beckenham conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

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.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Beckenham with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Beckenham can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Beckenham charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Beckenham.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Beckenham state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Should you dont have the consents in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • Some Beckenham leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice 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 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 you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming formality and delays many a Beckenham conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £200000 flat in Beckenham in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Beckenham?

    Beckenham conveyancing on leasehold apartments ordinarily necessitates administration charges raised by landlords agents :

    • Completing pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Beckenham
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Beckenham leasehold property is £350. For Beckenham conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide answers.

    I have had difficulty in seeking a lease extension in Beckenham. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    in cases where there is a absentee 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 LVT to determine the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Beckenham flat is 26 Manor Road in July 2010. the Tribunal decided that price to be paid for the freehold was £12,420 This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 76.75 and 88.83.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Beckenham