Questions and Answers: New Cross leasehold conveyancing
Planning to sign contracts shortly on a garden flat in New Cross. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in New Cross should include some of the following:
- The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in New Cross.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is clear 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am looking at a two flats in New Cross which have about fifty years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the marketability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area
I am employed by a long established estate agent office in New Cross where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local New Cross conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 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 disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a New Cross conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a New Cross conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non New Cross conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm completed in New Cross in the last twenty four months?
I have had difficulty in seeking a lease extension in New Cross. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to arrive at the price payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a New Cross property is 41 Endwell Road in March 2013. this matter relateed to the acquisition of the freehold of a mid- terraced Victorian house converted into three separate self-contained dwellings. By an order dated 28/11/2012, Deputy District Judge Cole in the Bromley County Court held that the leaseholders were entitled to acquire the freehold and directed that the premium payable be determined by this Tribunal. The Tribunal assessed the premium to be £14,753 This case affected 3 flats. The unexpired term was 80.01 years.