Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Ilford:

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Common questions relating to Ilford leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have 72 years remaining on my flat in Ilford. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent would be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Ilford.

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Ilford.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Ilford which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Ilford is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. 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 a residence 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 Ilford conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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 employed by a reputable estate agency in Ilford 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 Ilford conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start 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. This means that the proposed purchaser 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 needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

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 purchaser.

If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £225000 flat in Ilford in just under a week. The management company has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Ilford?

Ilford conveyancing on leasehold apartments nine out of ten times involves administration charges levied by management companies :

  • Addressing pre-contract enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Ilford
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Ilford leasehold property is £350. For Ilford conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide answers.

I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Ilford conveyancing firm to assist?

Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Ilford conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Ilford residence 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 related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 61.36 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Ilford