Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Waltham Abbey:

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Sample questions relating to Waltham Abbey leasehold conveyancing

My husband and I may need to rent out our Waltham Abbey basement flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Waltham Abbey conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

The lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Waltham Abbey do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.

There are only 68 years unexpired on my lease in Waltham Abbey. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Waltham Abbey.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor flat in Waltham Abbey.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Waltham Abbey. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Waltham Abbey are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Waltham Abbey so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Waltham Abbey conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Waltham Abbey conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Waltham Abbey conveyancing practice) 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 make enquires with several firms including non Waltham Abbey conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?

  • I own a second floor flat in Waltham Abbey. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Waltham Abbey conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Waltham Abbey residence 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 Waltham Abbey