Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Plaistow:

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Plaistow leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

My fiance and I may need to rent out our Plaistow basement flat temporarily due to a new job. We instructed a Plaistow conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

The lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Plaistow do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Plaistow.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is 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 managing agents 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.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Plaistow. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

In a situation 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 be sure 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).

I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Plaistow where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Plaistow conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the purchaser.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Plaistow conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Plaistow conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Plaistow conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Plaistow who can give a testimonial?

  • I am the leaseholder of a garden flat in Plaistow. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Plaistow conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Plaistow flat 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 the unexpired residue of the current lease was 69.77 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Plaistow