Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Crews Hill:

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Top Five Questions relating to Crews Hill leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years left on my flat in Crews Hill. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. In some cases a specialist may be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Crews Hill.

I own a leasehold flat in Crews Hill. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Crews Hill who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Crews Hill conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Crews Hill. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Crews Hill conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Crews Hill conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Crews Hill conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Crews Hill in the last 12 months?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Crews Hill with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Crews Hill can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Crews Hill charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Crews Hill.
  • A minority of Crews Hill leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate is often a time consuming process and slows down many a Crews Hill home move. If a reissued share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • I own a two-bedroom flat in Crews Hill. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum payable for a lease extension?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Crews Hill conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Crews Hill flat is 23 Beaconsfield Road in July 2013. The Tribunals decided that the amount payable was £31,203 for the freehold. This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 70.31 years.