Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Bermondsey:

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Sample questions relating to Bermondsey leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to sublet my leasehold flat in Bermondsey. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Notwithstanding that your last Bermondsey conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you need to seek permission via your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without first obtaining permission. The consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

I have just started marketing my 2 bed apartment in Bermondsey.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Bermondsey both have approximately fifty years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Bermondsey is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of buyers and lenders, 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 Bermondsey 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.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Bermondsey conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Bermondsey conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Bermondsey conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Bermondsey who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension work?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Bermondsey from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bermondsey can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
    • Many landlords or managing agents in Bermondsey charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. 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 usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bermondsey.
  • Some Bermondsey leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. 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 getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Bermondsey conveyancing firm to assist?

    Where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the LVT to arrive at the premium.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Bermondsey residence 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 affected 41 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 107 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bermondsey