Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Downe

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Top Five Questions relating to Downe leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I may need to let out our Downe garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Downe conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Your lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will say if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Downe do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.

Planning to complete next month on a basement flat in Downe. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they are sending me a report next week. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Downe should include some of the following:

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • Defining your legal entitlements in relation to common areas in the block.By way of example, does the lease include a right of way over an accessway or hallways?
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice?
  • What you can do if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Downe please ask your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Downe

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Downe with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Downe can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Downe leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. If you dont have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • Some Downe 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 obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had 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 reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is unresolved. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy process and frustrates many a Downe conveyancing transaction. Where a new share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £500000 apartment in Downe on Monday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Downe?

    Downe conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not necessitates the purchaser’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions most will be willing to do so. They may levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it exceeds £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    I am the proprietor of a first floor flat in Downe. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium due for a lease extension?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Downe conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Downe flat is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 50.57 years.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Downe what are the most common lease defects?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Downe is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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

    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. Nationwide Building Society, Barnsley Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Downe