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Questions and Answers: Coney Hall leasehold conveyancing

I wish to rent out my leasehold apartment in Coney Hall. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

A small minority of properties in Coney Hall do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 permission.

Looking forward to complete next month on a leasehold property in Coney Hall. Conveyancing lawyers have said that they will have a report out to me on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • The total extent of the premises. This will be the flat itself but might include a roof space or cellar if appropriate.
  • Whether the lease restricts you from subletting the flat, or having a home office for business
  • You must be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • What you can do if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Coney Hall please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Coney Hall

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Coney Hall. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

    In a situation 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 be sure 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).

    Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Coney Hall from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Coney Hall can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Coney Hall levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Coney Hall.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Coney Hall state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you dont have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • Some Coney Hall 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 financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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 lawyers.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Coney Hall conveyancing deal. Where a reissued share is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £350000 flat in Coney Hall next week. The managing agents has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Coney Hall?

    Coney Hall conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally requires the purchaser’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries most will be content to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

    My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Coney Hall. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to make a decision on the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Coney Hall property is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 50.57 years.