Leasehold Conveyancing in Chadwell Heath - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Recently asked questions relating to Chadwell Heath leasehold conveyancing

I own a leasehold flat in Chadwell Heath. Conveyancing and Aldermore mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Chadwell Heath who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Chadwell Heath conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Chadwell Heath which have about 50 years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Chadwell Heath is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with less than 75 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 property 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 Chadwell 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 any new 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Chadwell Heath. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. Strange as it may seem, 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).

I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Chadwell Heath where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Chadwell Heath conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having 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 sale.

An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Chadwell Heath with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Chadwell Heath can be reduced if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Chadwell Heath leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you dont have the paperwork to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • Some Chadwell Heath leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to 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 financially capable of paying 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a Chadwell Heath home move. If a duplicate share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Chadwell Heath conveyancing firm to represent me?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Chadwell Heath conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Chadwell Heath flat 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 affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 61.36 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Chadwell Heath