Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Kidbrooke:

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Kidbrooke leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Kidbrooke. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Kidbrooke - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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've recently bought a leasehold house in Kidbrooke. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Kidbrooke conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Kidbrooke conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Kidbrooke conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Kidbrooke in the last 12 months?

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

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Kidbrooke can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
    • Many landlords or managing agents in Kidbrooke 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 typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Kidbrooke.
  • A minority of Kidbrooke leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is under 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • We expect to complete the disposal of our £400000 flat in Kidbrooke in just under a week. The management company has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Kidbrooke?

    Kidbrooke conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually involves the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be content to do so. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

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

    You certainly can. 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 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 unexpired lease term was 69.05 years.