Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Erith:

Any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Erith, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Frequently asked questions relating to Erith leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to rent out my leasehold apartment in Erith. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Even though your last Erith conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must obtain permission from your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. Such consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I have recently realised that I have Fifty years left on my flat in Erith. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What should I do?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Erith.

I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Erith. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Erith ?

The majority of houses in Erith are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Erith in which case you should be shopping around for a Erith conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Erith. Conveyancing and Virgin Money mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Erith who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Erith conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Erith from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Erith can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Erith state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. If you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer first.
  • Some Erith leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Erith conveyancing firm to represent me?

    if 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 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Erith property is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case was in relation to 13 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 76 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Erith