Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Lewisham

While any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham, 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 Lewisham leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in Lewisham.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 until 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 am attracted to a couple of apartments in Lewisham both have about fifty years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Lewisham is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Lewisham conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Lewisham levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Lewisham leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Where you dont have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • Some Lewisham leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.

  • Completion in due on our sale of a £200000 flat in Lewisham next week. The landlords agents has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Lewisham?

    Lewisham conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not requires the purchaser’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    After years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Lewisham. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    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 case for a Lewisham premises 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 was in relation to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 72 years.

    What are the common defects that you encounter in leases for Lewisham properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham is not unique. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You will encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Skipton Building Society, and Aldermore all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Lewisham