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Common questions relating to Isle of Dogs leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Isle of Dogs. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Isle of Dogs - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

Planning to sign contracts shortly on a garden flat in Isle of Dogs. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Isle of Dogs should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • Will you be prohibited or prevented from having pets in the property?
  • Whether the lease restricts you from subletting the flat, or having a home office for business
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • What you can do if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease?
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Isle of Dogs please ask your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Isle of Dogs

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Isle of Dogs. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

    In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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).

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Isle of Dogs from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Isle of Dogs can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Isle of Dogs state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Where you fail to have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • Some Isle of Dogs leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice 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 lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a new share certificate can be a lengthy formality and delays many a Isle of Dogs home move. If a new share is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left 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 remaining number of years is below 80 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 premises on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £475000 apartment in Isle of Dogs next Friday . The landlords agents has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Isle of Dogs?

    For most leasehold sales in Isle of Dogs conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Answering pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Isle of Dogs
    • Supplying insurance information
    • 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 Isle of Dogs leasehold premises is £350. For Isle of Dogs 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 supply answers.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a Isle of Dogs conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Isle of Dogs flat is 12, 14 & 16 Hull Close in May 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the acquisition of the freehold to the subject premises was the sum of £18,300 This case was in relation to 3 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 101.61 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Isle of Dogs