Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Clapham:

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Recently asked questions relating to Clapham leasehold conveyancing

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Clapham ground floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Clapham conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your previous Clapham conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to seek permission from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. Such consent must not not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Clapham. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Clapham ?

The majority of houses in Clapham are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Clapham so you should seriously consider looking for a Clapham conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions 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 located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Clapham both have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the lease term. should I be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Clapham is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Clapham conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Clapham where we see a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Clapham conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Clapham with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Clapham can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Clapham charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Clapham.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Clapham state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you dont have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor first.
  • Some Clapham 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 financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual 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 lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Organising a new share certificate can be a lengthy process and delays many a Clapham conveyancing transaction. Where a new share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.

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

    in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to make a decision on the price.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Clapham flat is 23 Chelsham Road in May 2013. the Tribunal found that the sum of £13,870.00 was payable for the freehold following a vestig order having been granted by Swansea County Court dated 1st March 2013 This case affected 3 flats. The unexpired term was 99 years.