Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hackney:

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Hackney, you will need to instruct a conveyancing solicitor with leasehold experience. Whether your lender is to be Santander, Birmingham Midshires or NatWest make sure you find a lawyer on their panel. Find a Hackney conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Questions and Answers: Hackney leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Hackney. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Hackney - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I would like to rent out my leasehold apartment in Hackney. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Even though your previous Hackney conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the property. The accepted inference is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you must obtain permission via your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Hackney. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they report fully within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

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

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and informed of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • The total extent of the demise. This will be the flat itself but may include a loft or basement if applicable.
  • You must be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Hackney please enquire of your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Hackney

  • Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Hackney. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

    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. 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).

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hackney with the intention of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hackney can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Hackney state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you dont have the approvals in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • A minority of Hackney leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a new share certificate can be a time consuming process and slows down many a Hackney conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • I am the registered owner of a first floor flat in Hackney. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?

    Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the price payable.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Hackney property is 150 Amhurst Road in December 2013. The tribunal concluded that the premium to be paid by the applicant for the enfranchisement of the subject property was £43,500. This case related to 4 flats. The unexpired lease term was 90 (or thereabouts).

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hackney