Frequently asked questions relating to Lewisham leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years left on my lease in Lewisham. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. For most situations a specialist may be useful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Lewisham.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Lewisham. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Lewisham conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Lewisham conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Lewisham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham with the aim of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
- The majority landlords or managing agents in Lewisham levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham.
We expect to complete our sale of a £275000 flat in Lewisham in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Lewisham?
Lewisham conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be content to do so. They may invoice a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.
I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Lewisham. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
in cases where 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 LVT to arrive at the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Lewisham flat is 73 Walerand Road in August 2012. the result of the findings of the Tribunal led to a premium to be paid for the extended lease in respect of Flat 73 in the sum of £10,040. The premium applicable in respect of Flat 85 was £5,710. This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 72 years.