Recently asked questions relating to Shoreditch leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Shoreditch. Before I get started I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Shoreditch - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.
I am attracted to a couple of flats in Shoreditch which have in the region of forty five years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are plenty of short leases in Shoreditch. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Shoreditch. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation 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. A critical element 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 busy estate agency in Shoreditch where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Shoreditch conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have 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 at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Shoreditch with the intention of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Shoreditch can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Shoreditch state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you dont have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor first.
I have had difficulty in seeking a lease extension in Shoreditch. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to assess the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Shoreditch premises 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 related to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 72.39 years.