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Common questions relating to Bow leasehold conveyancing

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a garden flat in Bow. Conveyancing solicitors assured 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 Bow should include some of the following:

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • The total extent of the property. This will be the flat itself but might incorporate a roof space or cellar if appropriate.
  • You must be told what constitutes a Nuisance in the lease
  • 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.
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What options are open to you if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease?
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Bow please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Bow

  • I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Bow. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Bow ?

    The majority of houses in Bow are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Bow so you should seriously consider looking for a Bow conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.

    Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Bow. 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 owner 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).

    Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Bow from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Bow can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Bow state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • Some Bow leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Bow home move. If a reissued share certificate is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • 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 solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Bow. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the premium.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Bow premises is 26 Rhondda Grove in June 2009. The net price payable by the leaseholders as determined by the Tribunal was £3,015.13. This comprised £11,300 premium for the reversion less £8,284.87 costs as ordered by the County Court.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Bow what are the most common lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Bow. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You may 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. Birmingham Midshires, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.