Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Spitalfields:

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Common questions relating to Spitalfields leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Spitalfields. Before diving in I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.

If 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.

I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Spitalfields. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Spitalfields ?

The majority of houses in Spitalfields are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Spitalfields so you should seriously consider looking for a Spitalfields conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.

I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Spitalfields which have in the region of 50 years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Spitalfields conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Spitalfields conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Spitalfields conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £275000 garden flat in Spitalfields next Wednesday . The managing agents has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Spitalfields?

    Spitalfields conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often involves the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries most will be content to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.

    Having spent years of negotiations 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 if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to judgment on the premium.

    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 affected 41 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 107 years.