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Questions and Answers: Wapping leasehold conveyancing

I wish to sublet my leasehold flat in Wapping. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

A small minority of properties in Wapping do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse 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.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed flat in Wapping.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Wapping conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Wapping conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Wapping conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Wapping from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Wapping can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
    • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Wapping charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Wapping.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where a dispute is ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and 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 will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming process and frustrates many a Wapping home move. If a new share certificate is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Wapping. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Wapping conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Wapping residence 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.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Wapping what are the most common lease problems?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Wapping is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Birmingham Midshires, Chelsea Building Society, and Britannia all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Wapping