Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Shoreditch:

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Sample questions relating to Shoreditch leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Shoreditch. Before I get started I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% 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 have just appointed agents to market my garden apartment in Shoreditch.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

It best that you pay the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Shoreditch where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Shoreditch conveyancing solicitors. Can 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

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 advice for leasehold conveyancing in Shoreditch from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Shoreditch can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Shoreditch state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Should you fail to have the consents to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer before hand.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may have to bite the bullet 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Arranging a new share certificate is often a time consuming formality and delays many a Shoreditch conveyancing transaction. If a new share is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £300000 flat in Shoreditch in 10 days. The managing agents has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Shoreditch?

    Shoreditch conveyancing on leasehold apartments ordinarily results in fees being raised by managing agents :

    • Answering pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Shoreditch
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • 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 Shoreditch leasehold property is £350. For Shoreditch 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 required to provide answers.

    Having spent months of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Shoreditch. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Shoreditch flat 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 affected 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 72.39 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Shoreditch