Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Ladywell:

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Top Five Questions relating to Ladywell leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Ladywell.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is pay 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 managing agents 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 appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Ladywell. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Ladywell are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Ladywell in which case you should be looking for a Ladywell conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being 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 changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.

I work for a long established estate agent office in Ladywell where we have witnessed a few 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 firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is 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 simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 buyer.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Ladywell conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Ladywell conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Ladywell conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. 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 Ladywell in the last 12 months?

  • I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Ladywell. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Ladywell conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Ladywell premises 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 number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 74.25 years.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Ladywell what are the most common lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Ladywell. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements 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 will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Virgin Money, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Ladywell