Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in East Finchley

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Recently asked questions relating to East Finchley leasehold conveyancing

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in East Finchley. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in East Finchley are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in East Finchley in which case you should be looking for a East Finchley conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in East Finchley. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. A critical element 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).

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in East Finchley where we see a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local East Finchley conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. 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.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in East Finchley with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in East Finchley can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in East Finchley charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in East Finchley.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? East Finchley leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. If you fail to have the consents to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy process and slows down many a East Finchley conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is under 75 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £175000 maisonette in East Finchley on Wednesday in a week. The management company has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in East Finchley?

    East Finchley conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not involves the purchaser’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be willing to assist. They are entitled charge 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 £350, in some situations it is above £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a East Finchley conveyancing firm to represent me?

    in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to determine the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a East Finchley flat is Ground Floor 110 Station Road in June 2013. The Tribunal found that the premium payable for a lease extension should be £31,665. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 56.65 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in East Finchley