Hilton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
My fiance and I may need to sub-let our Hilton garden flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Hilton conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
The lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Hilton do not prevent subletting altogether – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.
I only have 68 years unexpired on my lease in Hilton. I now want to extend my lease 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 apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. For most situations a specialist should be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Hilton.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Hilton.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
It best that you discharge the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Hilton. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Hilton who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Hilton conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Hilton. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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).
Hilton Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Queries Prior to buying
Does the lease have onerous restrictions?
For many Hilton leaseholds the cost for major works tend not to be included within maintenance charges, albeit that some managing agents in Hilton require leaseholders to pay into a reserve fund created for the specific purpose of establishing a fund for major repairs or maintenance.
Its a good idea to find out as much as possible about the managing agents as they will either make your living at the property much easier or uncomfortable. As the owner of a leasehold property you are frequently at the mercy of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to practical issues such as the upkeep of the common parts. Enquire of other people whether they are happy with their service. Finally, find out the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the relevant party and precisely how they are spending that money.