Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Catford

Any conveyancing practice can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Catford, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Common questions relating to Catford leasehold conveyancing

My husband and I may need to let out our Catford garden flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Catford conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Catford do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold 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 consent.

I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Catford.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 managing agents 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.

I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Catford. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Catford are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Catford in which case you should be shopping around for a Catford conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Catford from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Catford can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Catford levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Catford.
  • Some Catford leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Catford conveyancing deal. Where a new share certificate is needed, 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 you should verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important 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.

  • Having spent years of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Catford. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Catford conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Catford property is 44 Elmer Road in January 2013. The Tribunal dacied that amount to be paid by the Leaseholders for the Landlords freehold reversion was £12,951 as at the valuation date (20" September 2012).This matter was referred back to the Bromley County Court to deal with costs, fees and any other outstanding matters. This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 74.25 years.

    What are the frequently found problems that you see in leases for Catford properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Catford is not unique. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Birmingham Midshires, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Catford