Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Streatham

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Questions and Answers: Streatham leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Streatham.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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've recently bought a leasehold house in Streatham. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Streatham conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Streatham conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Streatham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What are the charges for lease extension conveyancing?

  • All being well we will complete our sale of a £275000 apartment in Streatham next week. The freeholder has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Streatham?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Streatham conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Answering pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Streatham
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • 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 Streatham leasehold property is £350. For Streatham 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 required to supply answers.

    Following years of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Streatham. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Streatham conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Streatham residence is Flat 12, Newlands Court Streatham Common North in May 2012. the decision of the Tribunal was that the premium payable by the Applicants to the Respondent for the new lease of the Premises be £70,140. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 23.25 years.

    What makes a Streatham lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Streatham is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You will encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Leeds Building Society, and TSB all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Streatham