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Frequently asked questions relating to Sidcup leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to let out my leasehold flat in Sidcup. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Even though your last Sidcup conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the property. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you need to obtain permission via your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without prior consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

I only have 72 years left on my flat in Sidcup. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent may be useful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Sidcup.

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Sidcup. Conveyancing solicitors 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 and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Sidcup in which case you should be looking for a Sidcup conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £475000 flat in Sidcup next week. The management company has quoted £360 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 Sidcup?

Sidcup conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually involves the purchaser’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be willing to assist. They may levy a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

I have given up negotiating a lease extension in Sidcup. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to assess the price.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Sidcup flat 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 affected 1 flat.

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

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Sidcup. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
  • Insurance obligations
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Birmingham Midshires, Barnsley Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Sidcup