Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in East Dulwich:

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East Dulwich leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in East Dulwich both have in the region of 50 years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the saleability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena

I work for a busy estate agent office in East Dulwich where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local East Dulwich conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 finding a East Dulwich conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (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 advise that you make enquires with several 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 could be helpful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What are the charges for lease extension work?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in East Dulwich from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in East Dulwich can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers representatives.
    • Many landlords or managing agents in East Dulwich levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in East Dulwich.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a duplicate share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a East Dulwich home move. If a new share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £200000 garden flat in East Dulwich in nine days. The management company has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in East Dulwich?

    East Dulwich conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not involves the purchaser’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a East Dulwich conveyancing firm to represent me?

    in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension case 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 affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 61.81 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in East Dulwich