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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Becontree Heath

Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Becontree Heath 1st floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Becontree Heath conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Becontree Heath do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Becontree Heath.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is clear the invoice 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Becontree Heath both have approximately 50 years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Becontree Heath is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Becontree Heath conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Becontree Heath from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Becontree Heath can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many freeholders or managing agents in Becontree Heath charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Becontree Heath.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Becontree Heath state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. Should you fail to have the consents in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor in the first instance.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important 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 ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 75 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £425000 garden flat in Becontree Heath in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £420 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Becontree Heath?

    Becontree Heath conveyancing on leasehold apartments often involves the buyer’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They may levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Becontree Heath conveyancing firm to help?

    if there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Becontree Heath property is 49 Aldborough Road South in July 2012. The Tribunal decided that the premium payable for the grant of the new lease was £13,925 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 61.36 years.