Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in North Ockendon:

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Frequently asked questions relating to North Ockendon leasehold conveyancing

My husband and I may need to sub-let our North Ockendon ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a North Ockendon conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in North Ockendon do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests 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 today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in North Ockendon. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in North Ockendon ?

The majority of houses in North Ockendon are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in North Ockendon so you should seriously consider shopping around for a North Ockendon conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in North Ockendon. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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 work for a long established estate agent office in North Ockendon where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local North Ockendon conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that 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 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 agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 £150000 maisonette in North Ockendon in six days. The management company has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in North Ockendon?

North Ockendon conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually requires the buyer’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions most will be content to do so. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it exceeds £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

I am the leaseholder of a first floor flat in North Ockendon. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?

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

An example of a Lease Extension case for a North Ockendon property is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 57.5 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in North Ockendon