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Common questions relating to Romford leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Romford. Before I get started I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Romford - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Fifty years remaining on my flat in Romford. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?

If 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 extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. In some cases a specialist should be helpful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Romford.

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Romford where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Romford conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

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.

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

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Romford can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • Many freeholders or managing agents in Romford charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Romford.
  • Some Romford leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand 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 conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge 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 prior to 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 reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy process and slows down many a Romford home move. Where a new share is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • All being well we will complete our sale of a £250000 maisonette in Romford on Tuesday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Romford?

    For most leasehold sales in Romford conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Answering pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Romford
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Romford leasehold premises is £350. For Romford conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide the information.

    After months of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Romford. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Romford residence 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 57.5 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Romford