Questions and Answers: Hartford leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have Fifty years remaining on my lease in Hartford. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Hartford.
Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold house in Hartford. Conveyancing and Yorkshire Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Hartford who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Hartford conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Hartford. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation 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 be sure 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).
I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Hartford where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Hartford conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Completion in due on the sale of our £350000 garden flat in Hartford on Monday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Hartford?
Hartford conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally necessitates the buyer’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries the majority will be content to do so. They may invoice a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
Hartford Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to buying
Who are the managing agents?
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their maintenance charge payments?
Is the freehold owned collectively by the leaseholders?