Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Camberwell

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Recently asked questions relating to Camberwell leasehold conveyancing

Jane (my partner) and I may need to let out our Camberwell garden flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Camberwell conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Camberwell do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

I’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Camberwell.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is pay 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.

Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold flat in Camberwell. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Camberwell who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Camberwell conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. 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.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Camberwell conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Camberwell conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with several firms including non Camberwell conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Camberwell from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Camberwell can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers solicitors.
    • Some Camberwell leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is unresolved. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Camberwell conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share certificate is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. 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 success. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Camberwell conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to assess the amount due.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Camberwell property is 28 Valmar Road in June 2013. this was a case with an absentee freeholder. As a result the leaseholders applied to the Lambeth County Court for an order dispensing with the giving of a notice of claim. On 25 April 2013 District Judge Zimmels made a vesting order and directed that the matter should be transferred to this tribunal to determine the premium. The tribunal concluded on a figure of £1,125 This case related to 3 flats. The unexpired term was 968 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Camberwell