Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Lambeth:

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

Sample questions relating to Lambeth leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Lambeth. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Lambeth - 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 seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Lambeth. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Lambeth ?

Most houses in Lambeth are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Lambeth so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Lambeth conveyancing solicitor and check 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 leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.

I work for a long established estate agency in Lambeth where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Lambeth conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Lambeth from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Lambeth can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Lambeth levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Lambeth.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Lambeth leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Should you dont have the approvals to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • Some Lambeth leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is below 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term 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 our sale of a £325000 garden flat in Lambeth in seven days. The landlords agents has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Lambeth?

    Lambeth conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not requires the buyer’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be content to do so. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Lambeth conveyancing firm to represent me?

    if there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the LVT to assess the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Lambeth property is Flats 12A & 19, Evelyn Mansions Carlisle Place in June 2009. The Tribunal held that the price to be paid for the new lease of Flat 12A is £168,824, For the other flat the price was set at £169,110 This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 56 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Lambeth