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Recently asked questions relating to Hartfield leasehold conveyancing

Due to sign contracts shortly on a ground floor flat in Hartfield. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they will have a report out to me next week. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Hartfield should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • Does the lease prevent you from renting out the flat, or having a home office for business
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What you can do if a neighbour is in violation of a provision in their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Hartfield please enquire of your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Hartfield

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Hartfield. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

    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. It is an essential part 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).

    What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Hartfield conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

    When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hartfield conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Hartfield conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:

    • What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Hartfield in the last twenty four months?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Hartfield who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hartfield from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hartfield can be reduced if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers representatives.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Hartfield charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hartfield.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Hartfield leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Where you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer first.
  • A minority of Hartfield leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet 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.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • What makes a Hartfield lease defective?

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

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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 could have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Barnsley Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    I am the registered owner of a split level flat in Hartfield, conveyancing formalities finalised 2009. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Comparable flats in Hartfield with over 90 years remaining are worth £170,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 invoiced every year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2087

    With 65 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £14,300 and £16,400 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hartfield