Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in South Croydon:

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Top Five Questions relating to South Croydon leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in South Croydon. Before I get started I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is registered - and most are in South Croydon - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.

I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in South Croydon.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

It best that you discharge the service charge 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am attracted to a two apartments in South Croydon both have approximately forty five years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are plenty of short leases in South Croydon. The lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease shortens the value of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in South Croydon. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. A critical element 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 employed by a busy estate agency in South Croydon where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local South Croydon conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. 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.

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.

I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a South Croydon conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the sum to be paid.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a South Croydon residence is The Woodlands 95 Purley Park Road in April 2009. The Tribunals own valuation produced the figure of £37,912. This case was in relation to 6 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 78.32 years.