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Questions and Answers: New Cross leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in New Cross. Before diving in I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and most are in New Cross - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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 a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in New Cross where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local New Cross conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. 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 disposal of the property.

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.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a New Cross conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a New Cross conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non New Cross conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • What are the charges for lease extension work?

  • Completion in due on the disposal of our £125000 apartment in New Cross next Monday . The managing agents has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in New Cross?

    New Cross conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes ordinarily involves fees being invoiced by landlords agents :

    • Answering conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in New Cross
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for New Cross leasehold property is £350. For New Cross conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to supply the information.

    I own a basement flat in New Cross. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount due for the purchase of the freehold?

    Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a New Cross conveyancing firm who can help.

    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 was in relation to 3 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 80.01 years.

    What makes a New Cross lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    Leasehold conveyancing in New Cross is not unique. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are erroneous. 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
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Barnsley Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in New Cross