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Questions and Answers: East Dulwich leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have Fifty years left on my flat in East Dulwich. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering East Dulwich.

I own a leasehold flat in East Dulwich. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in East Dulwich who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a East Dulwich conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in East Dulwich. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a East Dulwich conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a East Dulwich conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with several firms including non East Dulwich conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:

  • How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in East Dulwich in the last 12 months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in East Dulwich who can give a testimonial?

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £250000 flat in East Dulwich on Thursday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in East Dulwich?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in East Dulwich conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Answering conveyancing due diligence 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 property 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 the information.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a East Dulwich conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    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 arrive at the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a East Dulwich premises 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