Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Ladywell

Any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Ladywell, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Common questions relating to Ladywell leasehold conveyancing

I own a leasehold flat in Ladywell. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Ladywell who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

First contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Ladywell conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Ladywell. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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).

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Ladywell 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 contradictory information from local Ladywell conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that 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. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as 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 provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Ladywell with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Ladywell can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Ladywell levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Ladywell.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Ladywell state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Should you dont have the approvals to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in the first instance.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is below 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £300000 garden flat in Ladywell in just under a week. The management company has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Ladywell?

    For most leasehold sales in Ladywell conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Answering conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Ladywell
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Ladywell leasehold property is £350. For Ladywell conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to supply answers.

    Following months of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Ladywell. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

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

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Ladywell flat 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 affected 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 74.25 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Ladywell