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Common questions relating to Crofton Park leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years unexpired on my flat in Crofton Park. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. 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 submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. For most situations a specialist should be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Crofton Park.

I’m about to sell my ground floor flat in Crofton Park.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you discharge the service charge 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Crofton Park. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Crofton Park from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Crofton Park can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Crofton Park levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. 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 accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Crofton Park.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Crofton Park state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Should you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. 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 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.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £400000 apartment in Crofton Park next week. The managing agents has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Crofton Park?

    Crofton Park conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally results in fees being raised by landlords agents :

    • Answering pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Crofton Park
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Crofton Park leasehold property is £350. For Crofton Park 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 obliged to supply the information.

    We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Crofton Park. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    in cases where there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Crofton Park flat is Flat b 14 Kemble Road in May 2014. The Tribunal assessed the value of the premium payable for the lease extension to be £9,761 This case related to 1 flat.