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Frequently asked questions relating to Silvertown leasehold conveyancing

Planning to exchange soon on a ground floor flat in Silvertown. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Silvertown should include some of the following:

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • The physical extent of the demise. This will be the apartment itself but might include a roof space or basement if applicable.
  • Whether the lease restricts you from subletting the property, or working from home
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Silvertown please enquire of your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Silvertown

  • I've recently bought a leasehold property in Silvertown. 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 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).

    Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Silvertown with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Silvertown can be avoided where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Silvertown state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. Should you fail to have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor in advance.
  • Some Silvertown 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 obtain 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 any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay 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 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 clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Silvertown conveyancing transaction. Where a duplicate share certificate is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • Completion in due on the sale of our £375000 apartment in Silvertown in 10 days. The freeholder has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Silvertown?

    Silvertown conveyancing on leasehold flats normally involves the buyer’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries most will be content to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.

    Having spent months of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Silvertown. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Silvertown conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Silvertown premises is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 69.77 years.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Silvertown what are the most frequent lease defects?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Silvertown is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Virgin Money, and Aldermore all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Silvertown