Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Spitalfields:

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Recently asked questions relating to Spitalfields leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Spitalfields. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Spitalfields - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.

My partner and I may need to sub-let our Spitalfields 1st floor flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Spitalfields conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Spitalfields do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Spitalfields. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Spitalfields are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Spitalfields in which case you should be shopping around for a Spitalfields conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Spitalfields. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Spitalfields who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Spitalfields conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Spitalfields with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Spitalfields can be avoided if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • Many freeholders or managing agents in Spitalfields levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Spitalfields.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Spitalfields leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you fail to have the consents to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor in advance.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat 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 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 details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a new share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Spitalfields home move. If a reissued share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.

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

    in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the amount due.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Spitalfields premises 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 related to 41 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 107 years.