Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Plaistow:

While any conveyancing practice can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Plaistow, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Plaistow leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Plaistow. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. 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 agency in Plaistow where we see a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Plaistow conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 purchaser.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Plaistow conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Plaistow conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Plaistow conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions have they conducted in Plaistow in the last 12 months?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Plaistow from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Plaistow can be avoided where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
    • A minority of Plaistow leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You may have to bite the bullet 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 will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming formality and delays many a Plaistow home move. Where a new share is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £300000 flat in Plaistow in nine days. The freeholder has quoted £324 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Plaistow?

    Plaistow conveyancing on leasehold apartments often requires the buyer’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions most will be content to do so. They may levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is above £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.

    Having spent years of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Plaistow. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the LVT to assess the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Plaistow premises 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 69.77 years.