Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in South Tottenham:

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Frequently asked questions relating to South Tottenham leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in South Tottenham. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in South Tottenham ?

Most houses in South Tottenham are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in South Tottenham in which case you should be looking for a South Tottenham conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in South Tottenham. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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 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 long established estate agency in South Tottenham where we see a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local South Tottenham conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the buyer 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 simultaneously with 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 buyer.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in South Tottenham with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in South Tottenham can be reduced if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers solicitors.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in South Tottenham 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 pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in South Tottenham.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in South Tottenham state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Should you dont have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer first.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a South Tottenham home move. Where a duplicate share is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £175000 apartment in South Tottenham next Friday . The managing agents has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in South Tottenham?

    South Tottenham conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually necessitates administration charges raised by management companies :

    • Completing pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in South Tottenham
    • 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 lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for South Tottenham leasehold property is £350. For South Tottenham 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 obliged to provide answers.

    I am the registered owner of a a ground floor purpose built flat in South Tottenham. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a South Tottenham conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a South Tottenham property is 22 Wakefield Road in January 2012. Following a vesting order Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court under section 26 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 on 9th May 2011 the Tribunal decided that the price that the Applicant for the freehold interest should pay is £17,400 This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 74.13 years.