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

While any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Stratford, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Frequently asked questions relating to Stratford leasehold conveyancing

I am intending to rent out my leasehold apartment in Stratford. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

Even though your previous Stratford conveyancing solicitor is not around you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek permission from your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of first obtaining permission. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Stratford. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Stratford are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Stratford in which case you should be shopping around for a Stratford conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate 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 Stratford. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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).

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Stratford from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Stratford can be avoided if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Stratford charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Stratford.
  • A minority of Stratford leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £150000 apartment in Stratford in 10 days. The freeholder has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Stratford?

    Stratford conveyancing on leasehold flats typically involves administration charges invoiced by managing agents :

    • Answering pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Stratford
    • 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 conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Stratford leasehold premises is £350. For Stratford 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 required to supply the information.

    I am the registered owner of a basement flat in Stratford. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum payable for a lease extension?

    if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the price.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Stratford flat is 12 Nutfield Road in July 2014. the Tribunal judged that the price to be paid by the applicants for the freehold interest should be £19,572 This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 72.02 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Stratford