Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Clerkenwell:

Whether you are buying or selling leasehold flat in Clerkenwell, our panel of leasehold conveyancing experts will help you move with as little stress as possible. Find a Clerkenwell conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Sample questions relating to Clerkenwell leasehold conveyancing

My fiance and I may need to let out our Clerkenwell garden flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Clerkenwell conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Clerkenwell do not contain subletting altogether – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the sublease.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement flat in Clerkenwell.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you clear 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 managing agents 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Clerkenwell where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Clerkenwell conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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 sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done 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 purchaser.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Clerkenwell conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Clerkenwell conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Clerkenwell conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Clerkenwell who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Clerkenwell from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Clerkenwell can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Clerkenwell state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. If you fail to have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor in the first instance.
  • A minority of Clerkenwell leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual 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 solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge 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 details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is under 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify 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 to extend my lease without any joy. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Clerkenwell conveyancing firm to assist?

    Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Clerkenwell premises 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 related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 66.8 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Clerkenwell