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Frequently asked questions relating to East Dulwich leasehold conveyancing

My husband and I may need to let out our East Dulwich ground floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a East Dulwich conveyancing firm in 2001 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?

Some leases for properties in East Dulwich do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in East Dulwich. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in East Dulwich are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in East Dulwich so you should seriously consider looking for a East 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. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.

I am employed by a busy estate agency in East Dulwich where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local East Dulwich conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a East Dulwich conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a East Dulwich conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non East Dulwich conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What are the costs for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £425000 maisonette in East Dulwich in just under a week. The management company has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in East Dulwich?

    East Dulwich conveyancing on leasehold apartments nine out of ten times involves administration charges levied by landlords agents :

    • Completing pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in East 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 East Dulwich leasehold premises is £350. For East 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 required to provide answers.

    My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in East Dulwich. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    if there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a East Dulwich property is Flat 1 40-42 Ewelme Road in August 2012. the Tribunal assessed the premium for the lease extension in the sum of £11,800 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 61.81 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in East Dulwich