Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Catford

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

Frequently asked questions relating to Catford leasehold conveyancing

I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Catford. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Catford ?

The majority of houses in Catford are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Catford in which case you should be looking for a Catford conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

I own a leasehold flat in Catford. Conveyancing and Nationwide Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Catford who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Catford conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, 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 reputable estate agency in Catford where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Catford conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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 buyer.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Catford conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Catford 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 two or three firms including non Catford conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Catford who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Catford from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Catford can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Catford levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Catford.
  • A minority of Catford leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle 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 particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I have had difficulty in seeking a lease extension in Catford. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    if there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the LVT to determine the premium.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Catford flat 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 was in relation to 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 74.25 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Catford