Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Hackney
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Hackney. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Hackney - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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 only have 62 years unexpired on my flat in Hackney. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent would be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Hackney.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Hackney both have about 50 years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Hackney is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Hackney conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Hackney. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Hackney conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hackney conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Hackney conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Hackney conveyancing firm to assist?
if there is a missing landlord or where 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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the sum to be paid.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Hackney premises 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 affected 4 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 90 (or thereabouts).