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Eel Pie Island leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Eel Pie Island.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is discharge 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Eel Pie Island. Do I have any liability for 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 employed by a long established estate agency in Eel Pie Island where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Eel Pie Island conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities 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 wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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 buyer.

What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Eel Pie Island conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Eel Pie Island conveyancing firm) 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 Eel Pie Island conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Eel Pie Island in the last twenty four months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Eel Pie Island who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Eel Pie Island from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Eel Pie Island can be reduced if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • Many landlords or Management Companies in Eel Pie Island levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Eel Pie Island.
  • Some Eel Pie Island leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly 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 conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay 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 purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I inherited a ground-floor 1950’s flat in Eel Pie Island. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount payable for a lease extension?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Eel Pie Island conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Eel Pie Island premises is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 60.45 years.