Leasehold Conveyancing in Snaresbrook - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Frequently asked questions relating to Snaresbrook leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Snaresbrook. Before I get started I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Snaresbrook - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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 hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Snaresbrook. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Snaresbrook ?

The majority of houses in Snaresbrook are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Snaresbrook in which case you should be shopping around for a Snaresbrook conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Snaresbrook. Do I have any liability for 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 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 employed by a busy estate agency in Snaresbrook where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Snaresbrook conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

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 purchaser.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Snaresbrook with the aim of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Snaresbrook can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Snaresbrook levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Snaresbrook.
  • Some Snaresbrook leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The 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 purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 80 years. It is therefore important 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 home on the market for sale.

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

    if there is a absentee landlord or where 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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the price payable.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Snaresbrook premises is 36 New Wanstead in August 2010. The Tribunal arrived at a valuation of the premium for the freehold of £22,359. This case affected 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 73.92 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Snaresbrook