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Recently asked questions relating to Old Coulsdon leasehold conveyancing

Due to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Old Coulsdon. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they are sending me a report next week. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • The physical extent of the property. This will be the property itself but might incorporate a loft or cellar if applicable.
  • You must be told what constitutes a Nuisance in the lease
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • 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
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Old Coulsdon please ask your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Old Coulsdon

  • I've recently bought a leasehold house in Old Coulsdon. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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).

    I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Old Coulsdon where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Old Coulsdon conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

    As long as 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. This means that the buyer need not have 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 sale.

    An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

    Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Old Coulsdon from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Old Coulsdon can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • The majority landlords or managing agents in Old Coulsdon levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Old Coulsdon.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy process and slows down many a Old Coulsdon home move. If a reissued share is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £400000 garden flat in Old Coulsdon next Monday . The freeholder has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Old Coulsdon?

    For most leasehold sales in Old Coulsdon conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Answering conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Old Coulsdon
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Old Coulsdon leasehold property is £350. For Old Coulsdon 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 provide the information.

    I am the proprietor of a basement flat in Old Coulsdon. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    in cases where there is a absentee landlord 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 First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Old Coulsdon residence is 223 Brighton Road in September 2013. The premium payable for the acquisition freehold of the properties should be £10,934 (Ten thousand,nine hundred and thirty four pounds) This case was in relation to 3 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 75 years.