Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Canary Wharf

Any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Canary Wharf, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Top Five Questions relating to Canary Wharf leasehold conveyancing

Looking forward to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Canary Wharf. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Canary Wharf should include some of the following:

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • You should be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Canary Wharf please ask your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Canary Wharf

  • I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Canary Wharf. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Canary Wharf ?

    Most houses in Canary Wharf are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Canary Wharf so you should seriously consider looking for a Canary Wharf conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

    I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Canary Wharf which have approximately forty five years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

    There are plenty of short leases in Canary Wharf. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Canary Wharf from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Canary Wharf can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers representatives.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Canary Wharf leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such works. Where you fail to have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming process and delays many a Canary Wharf conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • After months of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Canary Wharf. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    if there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the price.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Canary Wharf property is 12, 14 & 16 Hull Close in May 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the acquisition of the freehold to the subject premises was the sum of £18,300 This case was in relation to 3 flats. The unexpired term was 101.61 years.

    Are there common problems that you witness in leases for Canary Wharf properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Canary Wharf is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Chelsea Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Canary Wharf