Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in South Croydon

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South Croydon leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in South Croydon.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is clear 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 managing agents 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 seems to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in South Croydon. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in South Croydon are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in South Croydon in which case you should be shopping around for a South Croydon conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.

I am looking at a two apartments in South Croydon both have in the region of fifty years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in South Croydon is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with South Croydon conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

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

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in South Croydon can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers representatives.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in South Croydon levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in South Croydon.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? South Croydon leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer before hand.
  • A minority of South Croydon 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 obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming process and slows down many a South Croydon home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £125000 garden flat in South Croydon on Thursday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £420 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in South Croydon?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in South Croydon 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 pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in South Croydon
    • 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 South Croydon leasehold property is £350. For South Croydon 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.

    I am the registered owner of a first floor flat in South Croydon. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?

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

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a South Croydon flat is The Woodlands 95 Purley Park Road in April 2009. The Tribunals own valuation produced the figure of £37,912. This case affected 6 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 78.32 years.