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Top Five Questions relating to Bexleyheath leasehold conveyancing

Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our Bexleyheath 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Bexleyheath conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

A lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Bexleyheath do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.

I have recently realised that I have Seventy years left on my lease in Bexleyheath. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Bexleyheath.

Expecting to complete next month on a garden flat in Bexleyheath. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Bexleyheath should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • The physical extent of the property. This will be the flat itself but might incorporate a loft or cellar if appropriate.
  • Whether the lease restricts you from subletting the flat, or working from home
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Bexleyheath please enquire of your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Bexleyheath

  • Back In 2002, I bought a leasehold flat in Bexleyheath. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Bexleyheath who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

    First contact HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Bexleyheath conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. 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 Bexleyheath. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

    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. 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).

    I am the proprietor of a ground-floor 1960’s flat in Bexleyheath. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Bexleyheath residence is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case was in relation to 13 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 76 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bexleyheath