Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Deptford

Any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Deptford, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Common questions relating to Deptford leasehold conveyancing

Expecting to exchange soon on a studio apartment in Deptford. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they will have a report out to me next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Deptford 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 cellar if applicable.
  • You must be told what constitutes a Nuisance in the lease
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • 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.
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Deptford please ask your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Deptford

  • I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Deptford. Am I liable to pay 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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 work for a long established estate agent office in Deptford where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Deptford conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

    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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

    An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 purchaser.

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Deptford with the aim of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Deptford can be reduced if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Deptford state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • A minority of Deptford leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of 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 ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Having spent years of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Deptford. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

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

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Deptford premises is 41 Endwell Road in March 2013. this matter relateed to the acquisition of the freehold of a mid- terraced Victorian house converted into three separate self-contained dwellings. By an order dated 28/11/2012, Deputy District Judge Cole in the Bromley County Court held that the leaseholders were entitled to acquire the freehold and directed that the premium payable be determined by this Tribunal. The Tribunal assessed the premium to be £14,753 This case was in relation to 3 flats. The unexpired lease term was 80.01 years.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Deptford what are the most frequent lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Deptford. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Bank of Ireland all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.