Questions and Answers: Lewisham leasehold conveyancing
I only have Fifty years unexpired on my flat in Lewisham. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply 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 magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. For most situations a specialist would be useful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Lewisham.
I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Lewisham.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is discharge the invoice 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 management companies 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.
Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold flat in Lewisham. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage went though with no issue. 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 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Lewisham who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Lewisham conveyancing firm 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 rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Lewisham conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Lewisham conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend 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 that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
I own a ground-floor 1950’s flat in Lewisham. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Lewisham conveyancing firm who can help.
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 remaining number of years on the lease was 72 years.
What are the frequently found defects that you witness in leases for Lewisham properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- 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
You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.