Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Beckenham

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Common questions relating to Beckenham leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Beckenham. Before I get started I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Beckenham - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I want to sublet my leasehold apartment in Beckenham. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Your lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Beckenham do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.

I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Beckenham. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Beckenham are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Beckenham in which case you should be shopping around for a Beckenham conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Beckenham. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 advice for leasehold conveyancing in Beckenham from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Beckenham can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Beckenham leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. If you fail to have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • Some Beckenham 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 obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is less than 75 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Beckenham conveyancing firm to represent me?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Beckenham conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal 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 was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 76.75 and 88.83.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Beckenham