Leasehold Conveyancing in North Woolwich - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Sample questions relating to North Woolwich leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my 2 bed apartment in North Woolwich.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is discharge 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 management companies 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 North Woolwich. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

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 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).

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in North Woolwich where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local North Woolwich conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser 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 at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a North Woolwich conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a North Woolwich conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with several firms including non North Woolwich conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in North Woolwich with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in North Woolwich can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in North Woolwich charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average 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.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in North Woolwich state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such works. Should you fail to have the approvals in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in North Woolwich. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a North Woolwich conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a North Woolwich flat 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 affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 69.77 years.