Frequently asked questions relating to East London leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my ground floor flat in East London.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – 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 unless 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 tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in East London. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in East London are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in East London in which case you should be shopping around for a East London conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.
Back In 2000, I bought a leasehold house in East London. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in East London who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a East London conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a East London conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a East London conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non East London conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm completed in East London in the last 12 months?
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a East London conveyancing firm to represent me?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to make a decision on the price payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a East London residence is 20 Avonwick Road in July 2013. The Tribunal was dealing with an application under Section 26 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 for a determination of the freehold value of the property. It was concluded that the price to be paid was Fifteen Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy (£15,970) divided as to £8,200 for Flat 20 and £7,770 for Flat 20A This case related to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 73.26 years.
What are the frequently found problems that you encounter in leases for East London properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in East London is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts 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
You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Barnsley Building Society, and Aldermore all have very detailed 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 purchaser to withdraw.