Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in East Dulwich:

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Frequently asked questions relating to East Dulwich leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in East Dulwich. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and almost all 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.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title 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. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in East Dulwich in which case you should be shopping around for a East Dulwich conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in East Dulwich where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local East Dulwich conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

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.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a East Dulwich conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a East Dulwich conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non East Dulwich conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in East Dulwich who can give a testimonial?

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a East Dulwich conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    Where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension case 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 61.81 years.

    What makes a East Dulwich lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in East Dulwich. All leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain sections are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in East Dulwich