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Frequently asked questions relating to Forest Gate leasehold conveyancing

Due to sign contracts shortly on a garden flat in Forest Gate. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they report fully tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • The physical extent of the property. This will be the apartment itself but could also include a loft or cellar if applicable.
  • You should be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice?
  • What you can do if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Forest Gate please ask your lawyer in ahead of your conveyancing in Forest Gate

  • I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Forest Gate which have approximately forty five years unexpired on the lease term. should I be concerned?

    There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Forest Gate is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the premises. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Forest Gate conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

    I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Forest Gate where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Forest Gate conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

    As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 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 advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Forest Gate conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

    If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Forest Gate conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Forest Gate 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 of use:

    • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Forest Gate in the last year?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Forest Gate from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Forest Gate can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Forest Gate state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you dont have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • Some Forest Gate leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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 you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and frustrates many a Forest Gate conveyancing deal. If a reissued share certificate is needed, 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 remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • After years of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Forest Gate. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the premium.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Forest Gate premises is 52 & 54 Green Street in February 2010. Following a vesting order by the County Court the Tribunal decided that the price that the Applicant for the freehold interest should pay is £20,543 This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 78 and 80.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Forest Gate