Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Woolwich:

Leasehold conveyancing in Woolwich is more complex than freehold. Your home move will be smoother where you choose a lawyer with a wealth of experience of leasehold conveyancing in Woolwich and across next step up in loc. The lawyers we recommend have been approved by your lender so use our search tool to check.

Common questions relating to Woolwich leasehold conveyancing

I've found a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Woolwich. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Woolwich ?

Most houses in Woolwich are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Woolwich in which case you should be looking for a Woolwich conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Woolwich. Do I have any liability for 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Woolwich conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Woolwich conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Woolwich conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Woolwich who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Woolwich with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Woolwich can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • A minority of Woolwich leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming formality and slows down many a Woolwich conveyancing deal. If a new share certificate is required, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is 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 property on the market for sale.

  • I own a a ground floor purpose built flat in Woolwich. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Woolwich residence is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 69.77 years.

    What are the frequently found deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Woolwich properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Woolwich is not unique. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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

    You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Chelsea Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Woolwich