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Gidea Park leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Helen (my wife) and I may need to let out our Gidea Park 1st floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Gidea Park conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Even though your previous Gidea Park conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain permission from your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without prior consent. Such consent should not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Gidea Park.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is clear the service charge 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 managing agents 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.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Gidea Park. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Gidea Park ?

Most houses in Gidea Park are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Gidea Park in which case you should be shopping around for a Gidea Park conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.

I am looking at a two apartments in Gidea Park which have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the value of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Gidea Park from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Gidea Park can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Gidea Park charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information 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 common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Gidea Park.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Gidea Park state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Should you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
  • Some Gidea Park leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing 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 will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.

  • We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Gidea Park. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Gidea Park residence is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case related to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 57.5 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Gidea Park