Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Greenwich:

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Recently asked questions relating to Greenwich leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Greenwich. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Greenwich - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I have just started marketing my basement flat in Greenwich.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Greenwich both have about fifty years unexpired on the lease term. should I be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Greenwich is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 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 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 Greenwich 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 They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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 a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Greenwich where we have witnessed a number of flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Greenwich conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Greenwich conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Greenwich conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Greenwich conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension work?

  • Having spent months of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Greenwich. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Greenwich conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Greenwich premises 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 was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 72 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Greenwich