Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Clerkenwell:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Clerkenwell

Planning to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Clerkenwell. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they report fully on Monday. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • Does the lease require carpeting throughout thus preventing wood flooring?
  • Whether the lease restricts you from subletting the flat, or having a home office for business
  • 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
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Clerkenwell please ask your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Clerkenwell

  • I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Clerkenwell.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

    The sensible thing to do is pay the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

    I am employed by a long established estate agency in Clerkenwell where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Clerkenwell conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

    Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having 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 simultaneously with 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 purchaser.

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Clerkenwell with the intention of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Clerkenwell can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Clerkenwell levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Clerkenwell.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Clerkenwell state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. If you fail to have the consents in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • A minority of Clerkenwell leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than unsettled.

  • My wife and I have hit a brick wall in seeking a lease extension in Clerkenwell. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    if there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Clerkenwell residence is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 66.8 years.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Clerkenwell what are the most frequent lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Clerkenwell. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    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. Barclays , Skipton Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Clerkenwell