Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Crystal Palace:

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Questions and Answers: Crystal Palace leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Crystal Palace. Before I get started I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Crystal Palace - 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 have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Crystal Palace.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is pay the invoice 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Crystal Palace. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

In a situation 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. 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).

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Crystal Palace with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Crystal Palace can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Crystal Palace 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 information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Crystal Palace.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Crystal Palace state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • Some Crystal Palace leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to 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 yearly 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the disposal of our £300000 apartment in Crystal Palace in 5 days. The management company has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Crystal Palace?

    Crystal Palace conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally involves the buyer’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions most will be content to assist. They are entitled levy a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.

    I have given up seeking a lease extension in Crystal Palace. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    if there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the price payable.

    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 related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 69 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Crystal Palace