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Top Five Questions relating to Dulwich leasehold conveyancing

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to rent out our Dulwich basement flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Dulwich conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your last Dulwich conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the premises. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must obtain consent via your landlord or some other party before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. The consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Dulwich.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you pay the invoice 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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.

I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Dulwich. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Dulwich are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Dulwich so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Dulwich conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

I own a leasehold flat in Dulwich. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Dulwich who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Dulwich conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website 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.

We expect to complete the sale of our £175000 apartment in Dulwich in 8 days. The managing agents has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Dulwich?

Dulwich conveyancing on leasehold flats typically necessitates administration charges raised by managing agents :

  • Answering conveyancing due diligence questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Dulwich
  • 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 conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Dulwich leasehold premises is £350. For Dulwich 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 the information.

After months of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Dulwich. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the price payable.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Dulwich residence is 60 Taymount Grange Taymount Rise in June 2012. The Tribunal determined the premium at £13,346 for a lease extension of a further 90 years This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 64 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Dulwich