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Wanstead leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Wanstead. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Wanstead - 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.

Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Wanstead 1st floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Wanstead conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

Your lease governs relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Wanstead do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.

I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Wanstead both have in the region of fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Wanstead is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Wanstead conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Wanstead. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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).

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Wanstead conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Wanstead conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Wanstead conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Wanstead who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the costs for lease extension conveyancing?

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

    Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Wanstead conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Wanstead residence is 36 New Wanstead in August 2010. The Tribunal arrived at a valuation of the premium for the freehold of £22,359. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 73.92 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Wanstead