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East London leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I want to let out my leasehold apartment in East London. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Your lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in East London do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

Due to sign contracts shortly on a leasehold property in East London. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they report fully on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in East London should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in East London please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in East London

  • I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in East London. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in East London ?

    The majority of houses in East London are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in East London so you should seriously consider looking for a East London conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.

    I've recently bought a leasehold flat in East London. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

    In a situation 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. However, 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 ensure 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).

    All being well we will complete our sale of a £475000 apartment in East London next week. The landlords agents has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in East London?

    East London conveyancing on leasehold apartments nine out of ten times results in administration charges levied by managing agents :

    • Addressing pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in East London
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for East London leasehold premises is £350. For East London conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide answers.

    Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in negotiating a lease extension in East London. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a East London conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a East London flat 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 73.26 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in East London