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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Dagenham

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to rent out our Dagenham basement flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Dagenham conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Dagenham do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold 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.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years remaining on my lease in Dagenham. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?

On the basis that 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 mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the lessor. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Dagenham.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Dagenham. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. 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 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).

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Dagenham with the aim of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Dagenham can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • Many freeholders or managing agents in Dagenham levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Dagenham.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Dagenham state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Should you fail to have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor first.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming formality and delays many a Dagenham conveyancing deal. If a duplicate share is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is under 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Dagenham conveyancing firm to assist?

    Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to calculate the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Dagenham premises is 49 Aldborough Road South in July 2012. The Tribunal decided that the premium payable for the grant of the new lease was £13,925 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 61.36 years.

    What makes a Dagenham lease defective?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Dagenham is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You could encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , Chelsea Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have express requirements 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, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Dagenham