Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Aldwych:

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Aldwych leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Aldwych. Before I get started I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Aldwych - 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.

My wife and I may need to rent out our Aldwych 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Aldwych conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Aldwych do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Aldwych from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Aldwych can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Aldwych levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have 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 reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Aldwych.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Aldwych leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. If you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in advance.
  • A minority of Aldwych leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly 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 purchasers or their solicitors.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £200000 flat in Aldwych next week. The management company has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Aldwych?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Aldwych conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Completing pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Aldwych
    • Supplying insurance information
    • 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 Aldwych leasehold property is £350. For Aldwych 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 obliged to provide the information.

    I am the leaseholder of a two-bedroom flat in Aldwych. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Aldwych conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Aldwych premises 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 affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 73.26 years.

    Are there common problems that you see in leases for Aldwych properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Aldwych is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You could encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, The Mortgage Works, and Clydesdale all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.