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Thamesmead leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Thamesmead. Before diving in I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Thamesmead - 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 started marketing my basement apartment in Thamesmead.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 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.

Back In 2008, I bought a leasehold house in Thamesmead. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Thamesmead who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First contact HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Thamesmead conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Thamesmead where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Thamesmead conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-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 needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.

If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £475000 apartment in Thamesmead next week. The management company has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Thamesmead?

Thamesmead conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often necessitates the buyer’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.

After years of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Thamesmead. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Thamesmead conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Thamesmead premises is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case related to 13 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 76 years.

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Lease Extensions in Thamesmead