Leasehold Conveyancing in Downe - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

Leasehold conveyancing in Downe is more complex than freehold. Your home move will be smoother where you choose a lawyer with a wealth of experience of leasehold conveyancing in Downe and next step up in loc. The lawyers we recommend have been approved by your lender so use our search tool to check.

Top Five Questions relating to Downe leasehold conveyancing

I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Downe. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Downe are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Downe in which case you should be shopping around for a Downe conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold house in Downe. Conveyancing and TSB mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Downe who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Downe conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I work for a long established estate agent office in Downe where we see a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Downe conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that 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 can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, 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 buyer.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Downe conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Downe conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Downe conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Downe in the last year?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Downe who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Downe with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Downe can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • The majority landlords or managing agents in Downe charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Downe.
  • Some Downe leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to 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 prior to 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 better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Downe home move. Where a reissued share is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

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

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Downe conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Downe premises 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 50.57 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Downe