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Recently asked questions relating to Woodford leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Woodford. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and almost all are in Woodford - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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 would like to sublet my leasehold apartment in Woodford. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

A small minority of properties in Woodford do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests 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 consent.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Woodford. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Woodford are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Woodford in which case you should be looking for a Woodford conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out 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 conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

I own a leasehold house in Woodford. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Woodford who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

First contact HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Woodford conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Woodford from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Woodford can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Woodford state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you dont have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • A minority of Woodford leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a new share certificate can be a time consuming formality and slows down many a Woodford conveyancing deal. If a reissued share certificate is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is under 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I have had difficulty in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in Woodford. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

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

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Woodford premises is 201 & 201a St. Barnabas Road in October 2013. The Tribunal decided that the price to be paid by the Applicants for the freehold interest is £20,071. This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 69.26 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Woodford