Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Sidcup

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Common questions relating to Sidcup leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my 2 bed apartment in Sidcup.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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 today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Sidcup. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Sidcup ?

Most houses in Sidcup are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Sidcup in which case you should be looking for a Sidcup conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.

I work for a long established estate agency in Sidcup where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Sidcup conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 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 simultaneously with 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Sidcup from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Sidcup can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Sidcup levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought 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 frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Sidcup.
  • A minority of Sidcup leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Sidcup conveyancing transaction. Where a new share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I own a garden flat in Sidcup. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium payable for a lease extension?

    Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the LVT to assess the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Sidcup residence is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case was in relation to 1 flat.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Sidcup what are the most frequent lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Sidcup. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Bank of Scotland, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Sidcup