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Questions and Answers: Blackheath leasehold conveyancing

Frank (my husband) and I may need to rent out our Blackheath ground floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Blackheath conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your last Blackheath conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must seek permission via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. The consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Planning to complete next month on a basement flat in Blackheath. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they are sending me a report on Monday. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Blackheath should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • 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
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Blackheath please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Blackheath

  • My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Blackheath. Conveyancing and Birmingham Midshires 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 Blackheath who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

    First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Blackheath conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

    I work for a busy estate agency in Blackheath where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Blackheath conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, 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 are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Blackheath conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

    When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Blackheath conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Blackheath conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:

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

  • After months of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Blackheath. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Blackheath conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Blackheath flat is 73 Walerand Road in August 2012. the result of the findings of the Tribunal led to a premium to be paid for the extended lease in respect of Flat 73 in the sum of £10,040. The premium applicable in respect of Flat 85 was £5,710. This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 72 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Blackheath