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Denmark Hill leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Denmark Hill. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Denmark Hill - 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Denmark Hill. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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 be sure 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 busy estate agency in Denmark Hill where we see a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Denmark Hill conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

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 buyer.

If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £300000 maisonette in Denmark Hill in 10 days. The managing agents has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Denmark Hill?

Denmark Hill conveyancing on leasehold apartments ordinarily involves administration charges levied by managing agents :

  • Addressing pre-contract enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Denmark Hill
  • 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 Denmark Hill leasehold premises is £350. For Denmark Hill 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 supply answers.

I have had difficulty in negotiating a lease extension in Denmark Hill. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Denmark Hill conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Denmark Hill residence is 66 Southwell Road in March 2012. By Order of Deputy District Judge Stone dated 25 January 2012 a vesting order was made. The determination of the purchase price was referred to the Tribunal who decided that the amount payable for the freehold should be£29,612.00 This case was in relation to 3 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 72.58 years.

What makes a Denmark Hill lease problematic?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Denmark Hill. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
  • Insurance obligations
  • 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 will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, Skipton Building Society, and TSB all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Denmark Hill