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Common questions relating to Havering leasehold conveyancing

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

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Havering - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.

Frank (my husband) and I may need to sub-let our Havering 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Havering conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

The lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Havering do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Havering. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in Havering who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

First contact HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Havering conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Havering conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Havering conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Havering conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Havering with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Havering can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Havering charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Havering.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Havering state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you fail to have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor before hand.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle 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 details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Havering. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Havering flat is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 57.5 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Havering