Recently asked questions relating to Hockley leasehold conveyancing
My fiance and I may need to let out our Hockley ground floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Hockley conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Some leases for properties in Hockley do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Hockley. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 busy estate agent office in Hockley where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Hockley conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have 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 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Hockley conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Hockley conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Hockley conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm completed in Hockley in the last 12 months?
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Hockley what are the most common lease defects?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Hockley. All leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Skipton Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.
I bought a 2 bed flat in Hockley, conveyancing having been completed in 2004. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Equivalent properties in Hockley with a long lease are worth £235,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 yearly. The lease ceases on 21st October 2088
With just 67 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £13,300 and £15,400 as well as professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.