Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Crossness:

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Recently asked questions relating to Crossness leasehold conveyancing

My partner and I may need to rent out our Crossness 1st floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Crossness conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

The lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Crossness do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Crossness.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you pay 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Crossness both have approximately 50 years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Crossness is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under eighty 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 premises 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 Crossness conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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 any new 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 employed by a reputable estate agent office in Crossness where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Crossness conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is 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 needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with 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.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £250000 flat in Crossness in 10 days. The landlords agents has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Crossness?

Crossness conveyancing on leasehold flats typically results in administration charges invoiced by management companies :

  • Addressing conveyancing due diligence questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Crossness
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Crossness leasehold premises is £350. For Crossness 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 provide answers.

Following years of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Crossness. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

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

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Crossness 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 related to 13 flats. The unexpired term was 76 years.