East Dulwich leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in East Dulwich. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is registered - and most are in East Dulwich - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
My partner and I may need to let out our East Dulwich ground floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a East Dulwich 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?
A small minority of properties in East Dulwich do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 permission.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in East Dulwich. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in East Dulwich ?
Most houses in East Dulwich are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in East Dulwich so you should seriously consider shopping around for a East Dulwich conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.
I am employed by a long established estate agency in East Dulwich where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local East Dulwich conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means 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 needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Having spent months of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in East Dulwich. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a East Dulwich conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a East Dulwich flat 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 affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 61.81 years.
What makes a East Dulwich lease unacceptable for security purposes?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in East Dulwich. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- Insurance obligations
- 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
You will encounter 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. Lloyds TSB Bank, Skipton Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.