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Norbury leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have recently realised that I have 62 years remaining on my flat in Norbury. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to locate the landlord. In some cases a specialist may be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Norbury.

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Norbury. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Norbury should include some of the following:

  • Will you be prohibited or prevented from having pets in the property?
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • What options are open to you if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Norbury please ask your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Norbury

  • I've recently bought a leasehold house in Norbury. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

    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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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).

    What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Norbury conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

    When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Norbury conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Norbury conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

    • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions have they conducted in Norbury in the last 12 months?

  • Completion in due on the disposal of our £500000 flat in Norbury on Thursday in a week. The management company has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Norbury?

    Norbury conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not requires the buyer’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions most will be willing to do so. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is above £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.

    After years of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Norbury. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Norbury flat is Flat 12, Newlands Court Streatham Common North in May 2012. the decision of the Tribunal was that the premium payable by the Applicants to the Respondent for the new lease of the Premises be £70,140. This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 23.25 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Norbury