Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Bermondsey

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Top Five Questions relating to Bermondsey leasehold conveyancing

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Bermondsey. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Bermondsey ?

Most houses in Bermondsey are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Bermondsey in which case you should be looking for a Bermondsey conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

Back In 2002, I bought a leasehold flat in Bermondsey. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Bermondsey who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Bermondsey conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Bermondsey. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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. However, 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).

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Bermondsey with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Bermondsey can be reduced if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Bermondsey charge 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 sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Bermondsey.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Bermondsey state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. If you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a replacement share certificate is often a time consuming formality and slows down many a Bermondsey conveyancing transaction. Where a reissued share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is 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 home on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £250000 flat in Bermondsey next Monday . The management company has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Bermondsey?

    Bermondsey conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They may charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is above £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.

    Following years of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Bermondsey. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or if 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 calculate the amount due.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Bermondsey premises is 1-41 Royal Tower Lodge 40 Cartwright Street in April 2013. the tribunal adding the agreed value of capitalised ground rents and the reversion the price to be paid for the freehold was £1,187,000 This case was in relation to 41 flats. The unexpired lease term was 107 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bermondsey