Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Shoreditch:

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Recently asked questions relating to Shoreditch leasehold conveyancing

My husband and I may need to let out our Shoreditch garden flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Shoreditch conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Shoreditch do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years remaining on my flat in Shoreditch. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. On the whole a specialist would be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Shoreditch.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Shoreditch. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Shoreditch ?

Most houses in Shoreditch are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Shoreditch so you should seriously consider looking for a Shoreditch conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Shoreditch where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Shoreditch conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 buyer need not have 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 simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

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.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Shoreditch from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Shoreditch can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • Many freeholders or managing agents in Shoreditch charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Shoreditch.
  • Some Shoreditch leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly 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 solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Shoreditch home move. Where a reissued share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Shoreditch conveyancing firm to assist?

    in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Shoreditch property is 137 & 139 Haberdasher Street in December 2013. The Tribunal determines in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease for each Property should be £12,350.00. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 72.39 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Shoreditch