Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Waltham Abbey

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Questions and Answers: Waltham Abbey leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Waltham Abbey. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Waltham Abbey - 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 wish to let out my leasehold apartment in Waltham Abbey. 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 Waltham Abbey 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Waltham Abbey. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, 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).

I work for a reputable estate agency in Waltham Abbey where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Waltham Abbey conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 buyer.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £450000 garden flat in Waltham Abbey in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Waltham Abbey?

Waltham Abbey conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually results in administration charges raised by management companies :

  • Answering pre-exchange enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Waltham Abbey
  • 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 solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Waltham Abbey leasehold premises is £350. For Waltham Abbey 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 supply answers.

Following months of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Waltham Abbey. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Waltham Abbey conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Waltham Abbey 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 the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 69.26 years.

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Lease Extensions in Waltham Abbey