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Common questions relating to Haddenham leasehold conveyancing

There are only Fifty years left on my flat in Haddenham. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What should I do?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to find the landlord. In some cases a specialist should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Haddenham.

Planning to exchange soon on a leasehold property in Haddenham. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they report fully next week. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Haddenham should include some of the following:

  • How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and informed of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • Setting out your legal entitlements in respect of common areas in the block.For example, does the lease contain a right of way over an accessway or staircase?
  • Does the lease require carpeting throughout thus preventing wood flooring?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Haddenham please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Haddenham

  • I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Haddenham where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Haddenham conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as 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.

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Haddenham from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Haddenham can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Haddenham state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Should you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • A minority of Haddenham leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge 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 ahead of 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 over as opposed to unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £425000 flat in Haddenham in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Haddenham?

    Haddenham conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often involves the buyer’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Haddenham - Sample of Queries Prior to Purchasing

      How many years remain on the lease? Many Haddenham leasehold apartments will have a service bill for the upkeep of the block set on behalf of the landlord. Where you purchase the flat you will have to meet this liability, normally quarterly during the year. This could be anything from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large common areas. In all likelihood there will be a ground rent for you to pay annual, ordinarily this is not a exorbitant amount, say approximately £50-£100 but you need to enquire as sometimes it could be many hundreds of pounds. Are there any major works in the planning that will increase the maintenance fees?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Haddenham