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Questions and Answers: Crayford leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years unexpired on my flat in Crayford. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent may be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Crayford.

Due to complete next month on a garden flat in Crayford. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they are sending me a report tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Crayford 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 ends, and informed of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice?
  • What options are open to you if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Crayford please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Crayford

  • I’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Crayford.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

    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 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 am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Crayford where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Crayford conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

    Provided that 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. This means that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

    An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Crayford conveyancing firm to assist?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Crayford conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Crayford property is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case affected 13 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 76 years.

    What makes a Crayford lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Crayford is not unique. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, Virgin Money, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.