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Common questions relating to Loughton leasehold conveyancing

I only have 68 years unexpired on my flat in Loughton. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Loughton.

I’m about to sell my basement apartment in Loughton.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – what should I do?

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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Loughton. Conveyancing and Virgin Money mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Loughton who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Loughton conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Loughton with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Loughton can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Loughton charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Loughton.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Loughton state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Where you dont have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • Some Loughton leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than unresolved.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £250000 apartment in Loughton next Thursday . The freeholder has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Loughton?

    Loughton conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes ordinarily results in administration charges levied by landlords agents :

    • Completing pre-exchange questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Loughton
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Loughton leasehold premises is £350. For Loughton conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide answers.

    I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Loughton. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

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

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Loughton property 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 unexpired term was 69.26 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Loughton