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Common questions relating to Beckton leasehold conveyancing

My fiance and I may need to rent out our Beckton 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Beckton conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

The lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Beckton do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Beckton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Beckton. Am I liable to pay 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. A critical element 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).

What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Beckton conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Beckton conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Beckton conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Beckton in the last 12 months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Beckton who can give a testimonial?

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £375000 garden flat in Beckton on Tuesday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Beckton?

    Beckton conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions the majority will be willing to do so. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.

    I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Beckton. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium payable for a lease extension?

    Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Beckton flat is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 69.77 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Beckton