Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in City Of London:

While any conveyancing practice can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in City Of London, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Frequently asked questions relating to City Of London leasehold conveyancing

I only have Fifty years unexpired on my lease in City Of London. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. On the whole a specialist would be helpful to try and locate and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing City Of London.

I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in City Of London.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in City Of London. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in City Of London ?

Most houses in City Of London are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in City Of London so you should seriously consider shopping around for a City Of London conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in City Of London from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in City Of London can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in City Of London levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in City Of London.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? City Of London leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. If you fail to have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor in advance.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • What are the common deficiencies that you encounter in leases for City Of London properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in City Of London is not unique. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Barnsley Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society 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 does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    City Of London Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to buying

      The majority of City Of London leasehold apartments will have a service bill for maintenance of the building invoiced by the freeholder. If you buy the apartment you will have to pay this liability, normally quarterly accross the year. This may vary from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built blocks. There will also be a rentcharge for you to pay annual, this is usually not a exorbitant amount, say around £50-£100 but you should to check it because sometimes it could be surprisingly expensive. How much is the maintenance charge and ground rent on the property? How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in City Of London