Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Canonbury

While any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Canonbury, 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 Canonbury leasehold conveyancing

I want to sublet my leasehold apartment in Canonbury. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Some leases for properties in Canonbury do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Canonbury. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

In a situation 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).

I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Canonbury where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Canonbury conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.

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

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Canonbury conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Canonbury conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Canonbury who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Canonbury with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Canonbury can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Canonbury levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Canonbury.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Canonbury leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Where you dont have the paperwork to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is 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 premises on the market for sale.

  • Following months of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Canonbury. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Canonbury property is 5C Stoke Newington Road in April 2010. the Tribunal therefore concludes that the premium to be paid for the extended lease is £700.00 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 80.5 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Canonbury