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Lee leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Lee. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Lee - 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 own a leasehold flat in Lee. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Lee who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Lee conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a two flats in Lee both have about 50 years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are plenty of short leases in Lee. The lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease shortens the marketability of the lease reduces and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Lee where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Lee conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 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.

All being well we will complete the disposal of our £475000 garden flat in Lee next Thursday . The managing agents has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Lee?

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

  • Addressing pre-contract questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Lee
  • Supplying insurance information
  • 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 Lee leasehold premises is £350. For Lee 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 required to provide the information.

I am the proprietor of a first floor flat in Lee. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for a lease extension?

if there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the premium.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Lee premises 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 term was 69.05 years.