Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Lower Clapton:

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Sample questions relating to Lower Clapton leasehold conveyancing

Jane (my partner) and I may need to sub-let our Lower Clapton 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We used a Lower Clapton conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Lower Clapton do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold 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 have just started marketing my garden apartment in Lower Clapton.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is clear the invoice 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 found a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Lower Clapton. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Lower Clapton are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Lower Clapton in which case you should be shopping around for a Lower Clapton conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Lower Clapton. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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 ensure 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 a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Lower Clapton where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Lower Clapton conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, 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 buyer.

I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Lower Clapton. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Lower Clapton conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Lower Clapton premises is 104 Nightingale Road in May 2009. The Tribunal's Decision is that the premium torbe paid for the enfranchisement in this case is £112,174 This case related to 10 flats. The unexpired term was 71.25 years.