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Elephant and Castle leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I wish to let out my leasehold apartment in Elephant and Castle. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Your lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Elephant and Castle do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.

There are only 68 years remaining on my lease in Elephant and Castle. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

If 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 granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent may be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Elephant and Castle.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Elephant and Castle.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the invoice 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 unless 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Elephant and Castle. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Elephant and Castle ?

Most houses in Elephant and Castle are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Elephant and Castle in which case you should be looking for a Elephant and Castle conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £150000 maisonette in Elephant and Castle in just under a week. The management company has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Elephant and Castle?

Elephant and Castle conveyancing on leasehold flats usually results in fees being levied by managing agents :

  • Addressing pre-exchange enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Elephant and Castle
  • 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 Elephant and Castle leasehold premises is £350. For Elephant and Castle 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 obliged to supply answers.

I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can a leaseholder make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Elephant and Castle conveyancing firm to assist?

in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the price.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Elephant and Castle premises 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 74.77 years.