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Common questions relating to Custom House leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Custom House. Before I get started I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Custom House - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years unexpired on my flat in Custom House. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent should be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Custom House.

I’m about to sell my ground floor flat in Custom House.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated 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 invoice 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 unless 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.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Custom House. Conveyancing and Aldermore mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Custom House who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Custom House conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Custom House conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Custom House conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Custom House conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How many lease extensions have they conducted in Custom House in the last year?
  • What are the costs for lease extension conveyancing?

  • We have reached the end of our tether in negotiating a lease extension in Custom House. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Custom House premises is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 69.77 years.