Leasehold Conveyancing in Sydenham Hill - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

Any conveyancing practice can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Sydenham Hill, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Top Five Questions relating to Sydenham Hill leasehold conveyancing

Frank (my husband) and I may need to sub-let our Sydenham Hill basement flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Sydenham Hill conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Sydenham Hill do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor flat in Sydenham Hill.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

It best that you 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Sydenham Hill. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Sydenham Hill are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Sydenham Hill in which case you should be looking for a Sydenham Hill conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.

I work for a long established estate agency in Sydenham Hill where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Sydenham Hill conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. The benefit of this is 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 before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Sydenham Hill with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Sydenham Hill can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Sydenham Hill charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Sydenham Hill.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Sydenham Hill state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Should you fail to have the paperwork to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • A minority of Sydenham Hill leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is unsettled. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Sydenham Hill conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Sydenham Hill conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Sydenham Hill flat is Flat 5 4 Border Crescent in December 2013. the tribunal calculated that premium payable for the acquisition of a lease extension of the subject premises was in the sum of £14,900 (Fourteen thousand, nine hundred pounds). Those advising the applicant were advised to send a copy of the decision and a copy of the new lease with the premium (less the applicants costs as assessed by the Court) to the Croydon County Court (under claim number 3CR01226) for an officer of the Court to execute the new lease on behalf of the absentee landlord who is missing and cannot be traced). This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 69 years.