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Questions and Answers: Chislehurst leasehold conveyancing

My partner and I may need to rent out our Chislehurst basement flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Chislehurst conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your last Chislehurst conveyancing lawyer is not around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to obtain consent from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Looking forward to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Chislehurst. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Chislehurst should include some of the following:

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • 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.
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Chislehurst please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Chislehurst

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Chislehurst from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Chislehurst can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Chislehurst charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chislehurst.
  • A minority of Chislehurst leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Obtaining a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming process and frustrates many a Chislehurst conveyancing deal. If a reissued share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. It is therefore 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 home on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete our sale of a £375000 flat in Chislehurst in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Chislehurst?

    Chislehurst conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally necessitates administration charges invoiced by management companies :

    • Addressing pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Chislehurst
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Chislehurst leasehold property is £350. For Chislehurst conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide the information.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Chislehurst conveyancing firm to assist?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Chislehurst residence is 70 Andace Park Gardens 133-149 Widmore Road in November 2013. Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the lease extension was £10,052 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 72 years.

    Are there common problems that you encounter in leases for Chislehurst properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Chislehurst. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Barnsley Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Chislehurst