Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Waltham Abbey:

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Questions and Answers: Waltham Abbey leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my garden flat in Waltham Abbey.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you pay the service charge 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 appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Waltham Abbey. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Waltham Abbey ?

Most houses in Waltham Abbey are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Waltham Abbey so you should seriously consider looking for a Waltham Abbey conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Waltham Abbey. Conveyancing and TSB mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Waltham Abbey who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First contact HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Waltham Abbey conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate 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 Waltham Abbey with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Waltham Abbey can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Waltham Abbey state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • Some Waltham Abbey 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 bank and professional references. Any 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 landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Waltham Abbey conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Waltham Abbey. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    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 decision for a Waltham Abbey premises 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 lease term was 69.26 years.

    What makes a Waltham Abbey lease unmortgageable?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Waltham Abbey is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    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. Yorkshire Building Society, Chelsea Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed requirements 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 provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Waltham Abbey