Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Forest Hill:

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Forest Hill leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years remaining on my flat in Forest Hill. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?

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 lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Forest Hill.

I have just started marketing my 2 bed apartment in Forest Hill.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

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 management companies 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am employed by a busy estate agency in Forest Hill where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Forest Hill conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Forest Hill from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Forest Hill can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Forest Hill charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Forest Hill.
  • Some Forest Hill leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord 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 will have to accept that you will have to 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 will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming process and delays many a Forest Hill conveyancing deal. Where a reissued share is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • After years of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Forest Hill. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Forest Hill 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 related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 61.81 years.

    Are there frequently found defects that you come across in leases for Forest Hill properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Forest Hill. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Skipton Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Forest Hill