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Questions and Answers: Hockley leasehold conveyancing

Looking forward to exchange soon on a basement flat in Hockley. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they are sending me a report next week. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
  • You need to be told what constitutes a Nuisance in the lease
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this is subject to change
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • 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
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Hockley please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Hockley

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Hockley. 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 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).

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hockley from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hockley can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Hockley levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hockley.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Hockley leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Should you dont have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer first.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Arranging a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a Hockley conveyancing transaction. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £250000 garden flat in Hockley next Friday . The freeholder has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Hockley?

    Hockley conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually necessitates the purchaser’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.

    What makes a Hockley lease unmortgageable?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Hockley. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Coventry Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed 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, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    I invested in buying a basement flat in Hockley, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Similar properties in Hockley with a long lease are worth £270,000. The ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease ends on 21st October 2091

    With just 67 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £17,100 and £19,800 plus professional fees.

    The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hockley