I didn’t know what an LPE1 form was until the sale of my flat was going through. But it is a legally binding document that is essential for the sale of a leasehold property.
It holds important information about the property, service charges, ground rent and the acting management company.
It also helps to establish if there are any issues with the management company or disputes that the prospective buyer needs to know about.
What Is An LPE1 Form?
The LPE1 form (leaseholder property enquiry) is a legally binding document that is used to obtain information relating to the property, including service charges, ground rent, information about the management company, disputes and building insurance. This then becomes part of the leasehold management pack which is sent to the purchasers solicitors. It isn’t a mandatory part of selling a leasehold property, however, it often is legally required from the purchaser and needs to be in place for the sale to go through.
What Sections Are In An LPE1?
There are 8 sections covered in an LPE1 which include;
- Contact details of the landlord, managing agent, management company, residents/tenants association. It also requires identification of whom is in charge of collecting monies such as service charges, ground rent and who deals with the management of the building.
- Transfer and registration – this covers information on the Deed of Covenant.
- Ground rent – this details the annual ground rent charge to the leaseholder and if it has been paid up to date.
- Service charge – this details the service charges, the current annual charges, if there are arrears and any proposed internal works to the property.
- Buildings insurance – includes information regarding building insurance for the property for the current period, if there have been any previous claims and if there are any outstanding issues with the property.
- Disputes and enfranchisement – if there are any ongoing disputes or lease breaches.
- General – this details how many other properties are managed in the same building and if they are all leased on the same terms.
- Required documents – this is the final part which concludes the management pack. This should include proof of service charge accounts, building insurance policy and schedule, service charge estimate for current year, copies of any other notices among a list of other documents that must be returned to the buyers solicitor.
FREE Template LPE1 Form
You can download this FREE template of an LPE1 form to see what it entails, however, your solicitor should be able to provide you with a copy of this.
Can Anyone Fill In An LPE1 Form?
I was only googling this myself a couple of months ago trying to save myself a buck or two. The answer is no.
As an LPE1 form is legally binding it should only be filled in by the landlord, the management company, the managing agent or the residents or tenants association.
Do not attempt to fill it in even if you know the answers as it could come back to bite you if you answer any of it incorrectly.
How Much Does An LPE1 Form Cost And Who Pays For It?
Unless you are the landlord or management company of your own leasehold property, then you will need to pay for the completion of an LPE1 form. The cost varies vastly, and greatly. I was quoted both £600 by the landlord and then £240 by the managing agent. But the average cost could be anywhere between £200-£800 to get it completed. This is just another thing you need to factor in when purchasing a leasehold property, there is many more caveats to selling and owning one than a freehold property (house).
An LPE1 form to gather the information is not mandatory, but it streamlines the process and makes it much easier for the landlord or managing agent to include all of the required information.
It ended up costing me £840 because the managing agent couldn’t complete two questions, and the purchasers needed everything to be complete for the sale to go through. It was a tough pill to swallow, but at this stage I just needed it to go through.
How Long Does An LPE1 Form Take To Complete?
When I looked at the two pieces of paper I had to pass across the managing agent my first thought was a) it’s literally 2 pages to complete b) for about 15 minutes work why is it going to cost me over £200?
It’s likely that it will be dealt with by someone on a legal team within the managing agent firm which means a few people can be involved in the completion of it. It also involves compiling year end accounts, budgets and building insurance invoices.
The average amount of time it takes for an LPE1 form to be completed is 4 weeks, but I got mine back within 10 days and they usually quote 2 weeks.
Make sure you give yourself enough time in the selling process to get this sorted, it’s definitely not one to leave to the last minute in case any issues arise from it.
What Happens If The Freeholder Is Refusing To Complete The LPE1?
An LPE1 is not mandatory, so the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer an LPE1 and might not be willing to do so.
However, often purchasers of a leasehold property will not proceed without this information. You could warn them (preferably a solicitor’s letter) if they don’t comply (give a specific time limit) that you’ll apply for a court injunction on the grounds of ‘unreasonably withholding consent’ and/or make a simultaneous claim for any financial losses / damages.
Whilst it can raise an additional cost and stress which comes with selling a leasehold property, an LPE1 form is one that can’t be missed.
Ensure you give it plenty time to be completed and resolve any issues that might arise to avoid delays in the sale of your property.
Before You Go…
If you are currently in the process of selling your flat, you may also be encountering issues with ground rent over £250, this was again something else I also experienced so do check that blog post out for my advice and tips around an Assured Tenancy Agreement.