Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Crystal Palace:

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Recently asked questions relating to Crystal Palace leasehold conveyancing

I would like to sublet my leasehold apartment in Crystal Palace. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

A lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say 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. Most leases in Crystal Palace do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.

I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Crystal Palace.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Crystal Palace. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Crystal Palace who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Crystal Palace conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Crystal Palace both have about fifty years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Crystal Palace is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 property 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 property 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 Crystal Palace 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 the agreed 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.

Following years of dialogue 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?

Most definitely. 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 flat 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 69 years.

What makes a Crystal Palace lease unmortgageable?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Crystal Palace. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
  • A duty to insure the building
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You may have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Bank of Scotland, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Crystal Palace