Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Crayford

Leasehold conveyancing in Crayford is more complex than freehold. Your home move will be smoother where you choose a lawyer with a wealth of experience of leasehold conveyancing in Crayford and next step up in loc. The lawyers we recommend have been approved by your lender so use our search tool to check.

Recently asked questions relating to Crayford leasehold conveyancing

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Crayford. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Crayford ?

Most houses in Crayford are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Crayford in which case you should be looking for a Crayford 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 leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold house in Crayford. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Crayford who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Crayford conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a couple of flats in Crayford both have about forty five years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Crayford is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 Crayford conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 reputable estate agency in Crayford where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Crayford conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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 proposed purchaser 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 prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Crayford with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Crayford can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Crayford levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Crayford.
  • Some Crayford leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I inherited a second floor flat in Crayford. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?

    You certainly can. We are happy to 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 remaining number of years on the lease was 76 years.