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Questions and Answers: Islington leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to let out my leasehold flat in Islington. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Some leases for properties in Islington do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Islington which have about forty five years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are plenty of short leases in Islington. The lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the marketability of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Islington conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Islington conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Islington conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Islington in the last 12 months?
  • What are the costs for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Islington with the intention of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Islington can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • The majority landlords or managing agents in Islington levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Islington.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Islington state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. If you fail to have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming formality and slows down many a Islington home move. Where a new share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore essential 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.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £500000 garden flat in Islington next Monday . The managing agents has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Islington?

    Islington conveyancing on leasehold flats usually results in fees being levied by landlords agents :

    • Answering pre-exchange enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Islington
    • 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 Islington leasehold premises is £350. For Islington 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 am the registered owner of a two-bedroom flat in Islington. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Islington conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Islington premises is 5C Stoke Newington Road in April 2010. the Tribunal therefore concludes that the premium to be paid for the extended lease is £700.00 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 80.5 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Islington