Flat and Apartment Leases A Practitioners Guide

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Course Overview

Leasehold conveyancing presents a greater level of risk for conveyancers because there are a number of issues that will always be outside the personal control of individual leaseholders. As mortgage finance is rationed and property prices continue to rise, it is likely that the sale and purchase of flats will remain a key growth area.  

Experienced property lecturer Stephen Desmond will provide viewers with an in depth look at flat and apartment leases from a practitioner’s perspective and will offer practical guidance which will be invaluable for practitioners who currently advise clients in this area of conveyancing practice or who would like to do so in the future.

Part 1 will consider the following topics:

  • Buying off-plan – Risks faced by buyer – Inadequate plans – Consumer Code for Home Builders – Revocation of mortgage offer – Recent case law
  • Buying a flat in a building converted into no more than 4 flats – management problems, absent joint freeholder, Lender’s Handbook 
  • Repairing covenants and their interrelationship with how the demise and common parts are defined

Part 2 will consider the following topics:

  • Sheltered housing leases: exit fees, services withdrawn or not listed in lease
  • Selling an existing lease – Contract provisions, dealing with apportionments, completion statements, notices and retentions, arrears of ground rent or service charge
  • Reporting on replies to enquiries by seller and management company
  • Management companies: No interest in the building, concurrent leases, enforcement of covenants, fallback covenants  – Dissolved companies

Part 3 will consider the following topics:

  • Rights to park: by way of demise or grant?
  • Excluding implied rights
  • Delays in issue of certificate required by Land Registry restriction
  • Deeds of variation or indemnity insurance?

What are the requirements?

Learning Outcomes

  • On completion of this course you will:

    • Be familiar with Land Registry guidance on plans etc
    • Be aware of the circumstances were insuring covenants may prove problematic
    • Have considered common features of shared ownership leases
    • Understand the basic points regarding statutory lease extensions
    • Appreciate the key statutory protection available to leaseholders
    • Be familiar with common service charge problems including lease provisions, the accounts, excessive demands and apportionment of service charge
    • Be aware of excessive charges that are administration charges
    • Know what to do when the lease is not compliant with lender’s instructions e.g. Incomplete or missing leases
    • Understand why an indemnity policy may not always be the solution in respect of missing and inactive landlords

What is the target audience?

  • Conveyancing practitioners




About Instructor - Stephen Desmond

Stephen Desmond has been delivering training for over 15 years during which time he has delivered more than 1,800 CPD events to lawyers from a variety of backgrounds. Delegates at these events have included practitioners from a variety of size of firms, ranging from sole practitioners to City Solicitors. 

Stephen is a contributing editor to Butterworths Property Law Service, published by Lexis Nexis, writing on the complex law relating to long and short leases.  He writes for the Solicitors Group on the subject of commercial property. 
He has run a university-accredited distance-learning course for aspiring paralegals in the subject of residential conveyancing.

A former practicing Solicitor with several years post-qualification experience, Stephen has represented many business and private clients, including property investors and local authorities.

Course Curriculum

recorded webinars

  • Part 1
  • Part 2
  • Part 3


  • Part 1
    17 Page
  • Part 2
    17 Page
  • Part 3
    17 Page


  • Part 1
    10 Page
  • Part 2
    8 Page
  • Part 3
    10 Page