Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Elephant and Castle:

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Common questions relating to Elephant and Castle leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Elephant and Castle. Before diving in I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Elephant and Castle - 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’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Elephant and Castle.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is discharge the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Elephant and Castle. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Elephant and Castle are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Elephant and Castle so you should seriously consider looking for a Elephant and Castle conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First 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 comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Elephant and Castle. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. A critical element 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 Elephant and Castle conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Elephant and Castle conveyancing practice) it is essential 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 Elephant and Castle conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • What are the charges for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Having spent years of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Elephant and Castle. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the LVT to make a decision on the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Elephant and Castle flat is Ground Floor Flat 39 Bronsart Road in May 2010. Following a vesting order by West London County Court the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal concluded that the price to be paid for the extended lease of the premises was Thirteen Thousand Two hundred pounds (£13,200) in accordance with the valuation. The extended lease was granted for a term of 90 years from the expiry date of the Lease and at a peppercorn ground rent from the date of the vesting order. This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 74.77 years.