Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Bexley:

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Bexley leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

My fiance and I may need to rent out our Bexley garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Bexley conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Even though your previous Bexley conveyancing solicitor is not available you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the property. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must seek consent via your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Bexley which have approximately 50 years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Bexley is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat 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 a residence 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 Bexley 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 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 any new 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 am employed by a busy estate agency in Bexley where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Bexley conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-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 prior to, 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 purchaser.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Bexley conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Bexley conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Bexley conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Bexley with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Bexley can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Bexley 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 pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bexley.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Bexley state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Where you dont have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Arranging a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Bexley conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share certificate is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser'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 less than 80 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.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Bexley conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    if there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Bexley premises is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case was in relation to 1 flat.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bexley