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Questions and Answers: Little Ilford leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Little Ilford.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Little Ilford. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. 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).

What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Little Ilford conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Little Ilford conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Little Ilford conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How many lease extensions have they completed in Little Ilford in the last twenty four months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Little Ilford who can give a testimonial?

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

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Little Ilford can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • Many landlords or managing agents in Little Ilford charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Little Ilford.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Little Ilford leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such works. If you fail to have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible 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.

  • I am the leaseholder of a basement flat in Little Ilford. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for a lease extension?

    if there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the premium.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Little Ilford premises 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 unexpired term was 73.8 years.

    Are there frequently found deficiencies that you witness in leases for Little Ilford properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Little Ilford. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, The Mortgage Works, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Little Ilford