Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Shadwell

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Questions and Answers: Shadwell leasehold conveyancing

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Shadwell. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. 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 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 am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Shadwell where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Shadwell conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as 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. This means 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 before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Shadwell conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Shadwell conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Shadwell conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

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

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Shadwell from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Shadwell can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • Many landlords or managing agents in Shadwell charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Shadwell.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Shadwell state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Should you dont have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in the first instance.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Organising a new share certificate is often a time consuming formality and delays many a Shadwell home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £150000 maisonette in Shadwell on Thursday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Shadwell?

    Shadwell conveyancing on leasehold apartments often requires the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions the majority will be willing to do so. They are at liberty charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.

    I inherited a a ground floor purpose built flat in Shadwell. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Shadwell conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Shadwell residence is 12, 14 & 16 Hull Close in May 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the acquisition of the freehold to the subject premises was the sum of £18,300 This case affected 3 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 101.61 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Shadwell