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Brixton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Brixton. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Brixton - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I would like to let out my leasehold flat in Brixton. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Notwithstanding that your last Brixton conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to seek consent via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years unexpired on my flat in Brixton. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Brixton.

Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold house in Brixton. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Brixton who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Brixton conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Brixton. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Brixton conveyancing firm to assist?

if 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 arrive at the sum to be paid.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Brixton flat is 66 Southwell Road in March 2012. By Order of Deputy District Judge Stone dated 25 January 2012 a vesting order was made. The determination of the purchase price was referred to the Tribunal who decided that the amount payable for the freehold should be£29,612.00 This case affected 3 flats. The unexpired term was 72.58 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Brixton