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Sample questions relating to Histon leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have 62 years unexpired on my flat in Histon. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?

If 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent may be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Histon.

I’m about to sell my garden apartment in Histon.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is pay the invoice 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 unless 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.

I own a leasehold flat in Histon. Conveyancing and TSB mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Histon who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Histon conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. 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 Histon. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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. A critical element 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 work for a long established estate agency in Histon where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Histon conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

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. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 purchaser.

Histon Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should ask Prior to buying

    Most Histon leasehold apartments will be liable to pay a service bill for maintenance of the block levied by the landlord. Should you acquire the property you will have to meet this contribution, normally in instalments throughout the year. This may vary from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built blocks. There will also be a ground rent for you to pay annual, this is usually not a significant figure, say approximately £50-£100 but you should to check it because sometimes it could be many hundreds of pounds. Are any of leasehold owners in arrears of their service charge payments? Be sure to investigate if the the lease includes any adverse restrictions in the lease. By way of example it is very common in Histon leases that pets are not allowed in certain buildings in Histon. If you like the apartmentin Histon yet your dog can’t live with you then you have a very hard decision.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Histon