Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Orpington:

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Common questions relating to Orpington leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Orpington. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Orpington - 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.

Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Orpington ground floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Orpington conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your last Orpington conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the premises. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain consent via your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet without first obtaining permission. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Orpington conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Orpington conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Orpington conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Orpington who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the charges for lease extension work?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Orpington with the intention of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Orpington can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Orpington levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Orpington.
  • Some Orpington leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Organising a duplicate share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a Orpington home move. If a new share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £350000 flat in Orpington next week. The landlords agents has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Orpington?

    Orpington conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually necessitates fees being levied by freeholders :

    • Completing pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Orpington
    • Supplying insurance information
    • 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 Orpington leasehold property is £350. For Orpington 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 obliged to supply the information.

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

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Orpington conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Orpington flat is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 50.57 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Orpington