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Frequently asked questions relating to Little Ilford leasehold conveyancing

I only have Fifty years remaining on my flat in Little Ilford. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the landlord. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder 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 overseeing Little Ilford.

I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Little Ilford where we see a few flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Little Ilford conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence 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 has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

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.

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

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Little Ilford can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Little Ilford levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Little Ilford.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Little Ilford leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in the first instance.
  • Some Little Ilford leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a Little Ilford home move. Where a new share certificate is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • We expect to complete the disposal of our £350000 flat in Little Ilford in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Little Ilford?

    For most leasehold sales in Little Ilford conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Answering pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Little Ilford
    • 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 Little Ilford leasehold premises is £350. For Little 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 supply the information.

    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 Little Ilford conveyancing firm to help?

    if there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the LVT to judgment on the price payable.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Little Ilford residence is 9 Granville Road in June 2014. The tribunal determines the enfranchisement price payable by the applicants for the freehold was £32,548 This case related to 5 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 73.8 years.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Little Ilford what are the most common lease problems?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Little Ilford is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You could encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Skipton Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Little Ilford