Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Chingford:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Chingford leasehold conveyancing

I want to rent out my leasehold apartment in Chingford. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Even though your last Chingford conveyancing lawyer is not around you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain permission from your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet without first obtaining permission. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.

I am hoping to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Chingford. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Chingford 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 include a loft or basement if appropriate.
  • You must be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • 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
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Chingford please ask your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Chingford

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

    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. 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).

    I work for a busy estate agency in Chingford where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Chingford conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start 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 sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

    Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Chingford with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chingford can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Chingford levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out 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 frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chingford.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Chingford leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Should you fail to have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor first.
  • Some Chingford leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Chingford home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Chingford conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Chingford conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Chingford property is 201 & 201a St. Barnabas Road in October 2013. The Tribunal decided that the price to be paid by the Applicants for the freehold interest is £20,071. This case related to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 69.26 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Chingford