Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Whitechapel:

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Recently asked questions relating to Whitechapel leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Whitechapel. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Whitechapel - 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 have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Whitechapel.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is clear 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 until 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold house in Whitechapel. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage are in place. 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 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Whitechapel who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Whitechapel conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Whitechapel with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Whitechapel can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
  • Many freeholders or managing agents in Whitechapel levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding 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 common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Whitechapel.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Whitechapel state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. If you dont have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • A minority of Whitechapel leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly 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 lawyers.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a new share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Whitechapel home move. Where a duplicate share is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • We have reached the end of our tether in seeking a lease extension in Whitechapel. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Whitechapel 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 was in relation to 41 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 107 years.

    What makes a Whitechapel lease problematic?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Whitechapel. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations 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 issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Skipton Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society 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, obliging the purchaser to pull out.