Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Spitalfields
I’m about to sell my basement flat in Spitalfields.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Spitalfields. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Spitalfields are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Spitalfields in which case you should be shopping around for a Spitalfields conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.
I work for a long established estate agency in Spitalfields where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Spitalfields conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
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. 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 needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Spitalfields conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Spitalfields conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Spitalfields conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Spitalfields in the last twenty four months?
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Spitalfields from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Spitalfields can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
- Some Spitalfields leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
After months of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Spitalfields. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Spitalfields flat is 1-41 Royal Tower Lodge 40 Cartwright Street in April 2013. the tribunal adding the agreed value of capitalised ground rents and the reversion the price to be paid for the freehold was £1,187,000 This case affected 41 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 107 years.