Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hither Green:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Hither Green leasehold conveyancing

I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Hither Green where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Hither Green conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 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.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Hither Green conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hither Green conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Hither Green conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Hither Green in the last twenty four months?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hither Green from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hither Green can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Hither Green charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding 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 Hither Green.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Hither Green state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. If you dont have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer before hand.
  • Some Hither Green leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain 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 solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of 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 over rather than ongoing.

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £250000 maisonette in Hither Green next Friday . The landlords agents has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Hither Green?

    Hither Green conveyancing on leasehold flats often involves the buyer’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries most will be content to assist. They may invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    Following months of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Hither Green. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

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

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Hither Green property is 18 Handen Road in April 2013. On 26 October 2012 District Judge Zimmels sitting at the Lambeth County Court made a Vesting Order that the Applicants be granted the right to acquire the freehold upon such terms and at such price determined by the LVT. The Tribunal arrived a figure of £39,535 as a valuation for the enfranchisement. This case related to 3 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 69.05 years.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Hither Green what are the most common lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Hither Green. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • 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 as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Barnsley Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express conveyancing instructions 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hither Green