Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in New Cross:

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Recently asked questions relating to New Cross leasehold conveyancing

There are only 62 years remaining on my lease in New Cross. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order 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 demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the freeholder. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing New Cross.

I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in New Cross. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in New Cross are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in New Cross in which case you should be looking for a New Cross conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in New Cross. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in New Cross who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a New Cross conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in New Cross. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in New Cross where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local New Cross conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify 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 been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, 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 buyer.

I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a New Cross conveyancing firm to assist?

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

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a New Cross residence 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.

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Lease Extensions in New Cross