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New Cross leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am hoping to complete next month on a studio apartment in New Cross. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they will have a report out to me on Monday. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in New Cross should include some of the following:

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Setting out your legal entitlements in respect of common areas in the block.For instance, does the lease contain a right of way over an accessway or staircase?
  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • What you can do if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease?
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in New Cross please enquire of your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in New Cross

  • Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in New Cross.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

    Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice 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 until 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

    I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in New Cross which have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

    There are plenty of short leases in New Cross. The lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the value of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena

    Last month I purchased a leasehold house in New Cross. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

    In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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).

    Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £275000 maisonette in New Cross next week. The freeholder has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in New Cross?

    New Cross conveyancing on leasehold flats normally necessitates the purchaser’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries most will be content to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.

    Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in negotiating a lease extension in New Cross. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Where there is a missing landlord or if 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 calculate the premium.

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

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in New Cross