Common questions relating to Lewisham leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham. Before I get started I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Lewisham - 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 am looking at a two apartments in Lewisham which have about 50 years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Lewisham is a wasting 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 premises. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 premises 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. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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.
I work for a busy estate agency in Lewisham where we see a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Lewisham conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start 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 needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Lewisham conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Lewisham conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Lewisham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How many lease extensions have they carried out in Lewisham in the last year?
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
- The majority freeholders or managing agents in Lewisham charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham.
Notwithstanding our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Lewisham. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Lewisham conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Lewisham residence 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.