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Recently asked questions relating to Limehouse leasehold conveyancing

There are only 72 years left on my lease in Limehouse. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the lessor. On the whole a specialist should be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Limehouse.

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Limehouse. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they are sending me a report next week. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Does the lease require carpeting throughout thus preventing wood flooring?
  • Are you allowed to have a pet in the flat?
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • 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 Limehouse please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Limehouse

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Limehouse. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

    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. It is an essential part 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).

    I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Limehouse where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Limehouse conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.

    If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £450000 apartment in Limehouse on Monday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £324 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Limehouse?

    Limehouse conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally requires the buyer’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Limehouse conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

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

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Limehouse flat is 26 Rhondda Grove in June 2009. The net price payable by the leaseholders as determined by the Tribunal was £3,015.13. This comprised £11,300 premium for the reversion less £8,284.87 costs as ordered by the County Court.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Limehouse