Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Ladywell:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Ladywell

I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Ladywell.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is clear the service charge 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 management companies 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Ladywell. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Ladywell ?

Most houses in Ladywell are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Ladywell in which case you should be looking for a Ladywell conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.

Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold house in Ladywell. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Ladywell who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Ladywell conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a two maisonettes in Ladywell both have about forty five years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Ladywell is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with under eighty 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 property 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 Ladywell 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Ladywell with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Ladywell can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Ladywell leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. If you dont have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • Some Ladywell leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and 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 are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Ladywell. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium due for a lease extension?

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

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Ladywell property is 44 Elmer Road in January 2013. The Tribunal dacied that amount to be paid by the Leaseholders for the Landlords freehold reversion was £12,951 as at the valuation date (20" September 2012).This matter was referred back to the Bromley County Court to deal with costs, fees and any other outstanding matters. This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 74.25 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Ladywell