Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Crofton Park

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Crofton Park leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Crofton Park. Before I get started I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Crofton Park - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I am intending to sublet my leasehold apartment in Crofton Park. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Your lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Crofton Park do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Crofton Park. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. Strange as it may seem, 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).

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Crofton Park where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Crofton Park conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities 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 proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 purchaser.

Having spent months of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Crofton Park. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Crofton Park conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Crofton Park property 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.

Are there common problems that you see in leases for Crofton Park properties?

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

  • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
  • A duty to insure the building
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Skipton Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.