Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Greenwich

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Greenwich leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am intending to rent out my leasehold flat in Greenwich. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Even though your last Greenwich conveyancing lawyer is not available you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek consent 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 permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Greenwich which have about forty five years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Greenwich is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 property 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 Greenwich conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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 any new 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 employed by a reputable estate agency in Greenwich where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Greenwich conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence 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. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Completion in due on the sale of our £375000 maisonette in Greenwich next week. The managing agents has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Greenwich?

Greenwich conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes nine out of ten times involves fees being levied by landlords agents :

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

I inherited a two-bedroom flat in Greenwich. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium payable for a lease extension?

Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the price.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Greenwich residence is 73 Walerand Road in August 2012. the result of the findings of the Tribunal led to a premium to be paid for the extended lease in respect of Flat 73 in the sum of £10,040. The premium applicable in respect of Flat 85 was £5,710. This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 72 years.

In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Greenwich what are the most frequent lease defects?

Leasehold conveyancing in Greenwich is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. 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 premises
  • Insurance obligations
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, The Mortgage Works, and Clydesdale all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Greenwich