Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Kidbrooke

Any conveyancing practice can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Kidbrooke, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Kidbrooke leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Kidbrooke. Before diving in I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Kidbrooke - 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 today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Kidbrooke. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Kidbrooke are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Kidbrooke so you should seriously consider looking for a Kidbrooke conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

I work for a long established estate agency in Kidbrooke where we see a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Kidbrooke conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify 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 start 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 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 disposal of the property.

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.

What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Kidbrooke conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Kidbrooke conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Kidbrooke 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:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension work?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Kidbrooke with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Kidbrooke can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • Some Kidbrooke leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 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 very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate can be a time consuming process and frustrates many a Kidbrooke conveyancing transaction. If a new share is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I am the registered owner of a second floor flat in Kidbrooke. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Kidbrooke conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Kidbrooke flat 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 was in relation to 3 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 69.05 years.