Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Erith

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Frequently asked questions relating to Erith leasehold conveyancing

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Erith basement flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Erith conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Even though your previous Erith conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must seek permission via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. 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 am attracted to a couple of flats in Erith which have about fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Erith is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the premises. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Erith conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Erith where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Erith conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start 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 to extend their lease. 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 sale.

An alternative approach is 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.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Erith with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Erith can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Erith levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Erith.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Erith leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you fail to have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in advance.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming process and slows down many a Erith conveyancing deal. Where a reissued share is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • We expect to complete the disposal of our £500000 maisonette in Erith next week. The management company has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Erith?

    Erith conveyancing on leasehold apartments typically results in administration charges raised by managing agents :

    • Answering pre-exchange enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Erith
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Erith leasehold property is £350. For Erith 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 supply answers.

    I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Erith. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Erith conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Erith residence 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 affected 13 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 76 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Erith