Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Clapton:

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

Top Five Questions relating to Clapton leasehold conveyancing

I want to let out my leasehold flat in Clapton. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

A small minority of properties in Clapton do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 permission.

I am looking at a two maisonettes in Clapton which have approximately 50 years left on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

A lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the saleability of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Clapton. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. It is an essential part 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).

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Clapton where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Clapton conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

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. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 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 at the same time as completion of the sale.

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 buyer.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Clapton from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Clapton can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Clapton state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Where you fail to have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
  • Some Clapton leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the annual 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming process and slows down many a Clapton home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Clapton conveyancing firm to help?

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

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Clapton flat is 104 Nightingale Road in May 2009. The Tribunal's Decision is that the premium torbe paid for the enfranchisement in this case is £112,174 This case affected 10 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 71.25 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Clapton