Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in New Addington:

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Frequently asked questions relating to New Addington leasehold conveyancing

There are only 62 years unexpired on my flat in New Addington. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering New Addington.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in New Addington. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in New Addington ?

Most houses in New Addington are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in New Addington so you should seriously consider looking for a New Addington conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.

I work for a long established estate agency in New Addington where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local New Addington conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 purchaser.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a New Addington conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a New Addington conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non New Addington conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in New Addington who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in New Addington with the aim of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in New Addington can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in New Addington state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you dont have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • Some New Addington leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming formality and frustrates many a New Addington conveyancing transaction. Where a reissued share is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Following months of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in New Addington. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a New Addington conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a New Addington flat is The Woodlands 95 Purley Park Road in April 2009. The Tribunals own valuation produced the figure of £37,912. This case affected 6 flats. The unexpired term was 78.32 years.