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Recently asked questions relating to Silvertown leasehold conveyancing

Looking forward to sign contracts shortly on a leasehold property in Silvertown. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • The total extent of the premises. This will be the flat itself but might include a loft or cellar if applicable.
  • Defining your rights in relation to common areas in the building.For instance, does the lease permit a right of way over a path or hallways?
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • 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 For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Silvertown please ask your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Silvertown

  • Back In 2002, I bought a leasehold flat in Silvertown. Conveyancing and Aldermore mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Silvertown who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

    The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Silvertown conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

    I am employed by a long established estate agency in Silvertown where we see a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Silvertown conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 buyer 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 needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

    An alternative approach is 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.

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

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Silvertown can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers representatives.
    • Some Silvertown leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 essential that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where a dispute is ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Silvertown conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

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

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

    An example of a Lease Extension decision 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 the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 69.77 years.

    What makes a Silvertown lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Silvertown is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Silvertown