Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in North Woolwich:

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Common questions relating to North Woolwich leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in North Woolwich. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and most are in North Woolwich - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I have recently realised that I have 62 years left on my lease in North Woolwich. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. In some cases a specialist would be helpful to try and locate and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering North Woolwich.

I am attracted to a two maisonettes in North Woolwich both have about forty five years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in North Woolwich is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with North Woolwich conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in North Woolwich from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in North Woolwich can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in North Woolwich levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in North Woolwich.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property 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 the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and slows down many a North Woolwich home move. If a duplicate share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I am the registered owner of a first floor flat in North Woolwich. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    if there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to decide the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a North Woolwich residence is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 69.77 years.

    Are there common defects that you see in leases for North Woolwich properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in North Woolwich. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts 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 will have 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. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Coventry Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements 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 provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.