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Crystal Palace leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Crystal Palace. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Crystal Palace - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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 rent out my leasehold flat in Crystal Palace. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

The lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Crystal Palace do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.

Looking forward to complete next month on a basement flat in Crystal Palace. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they report fully within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Crystal Palace should include some of the following:

  • The physical extent of the property. This will be the apartment itself but could also include a roof space or basement if applicable.
  • Are you allowed to have a pet in the flat?
  • You need to be told what constitutes a Nuisance in the lease
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Crystal Palace please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Crystal Palace

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Crystal Palace from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Crystal Palace can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Crystal Palace charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. 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 Crystal Palace.
  • Some Crystal Palace leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £150000 apartment in Crystal Palace next week. The freeholder has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Crystal Palace?

    Crystal Palace conveyancing on leasehold apartments often necessitates the buyer’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They may invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.

    Following years of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Crystal Palace. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Crystal Palace conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Crystal Palace residence is Flat 5 4 Border Crescent in December 2013. the tribunal calculated that premium payable for the acquisition of a lease extension of the subject premises was in the sum of £14,900 (Fourteen thousand, nine hundred pounds). Those advising the applicant were advised to send a copy of the decision and a copy of the new lease with the premium (less the applicants costs as assessed by the Court) to the Croydon County Court (under claim number 3CR01226) for an officer of the Court to execute the new lease on behalf of the absentee landlord who is missing and cannot be traced). This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 69 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Crystal Palace