Common questions relating to Hackney leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Hackney. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all 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.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years left on my flat in Hackney. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply 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. However, you will be required to prove that you have done all that could be expected to locate the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Hackney.
Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold flat in Hackney. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Hackney who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Hackney conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold property 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).
Completion in due on the sale of our £300000 maisonette in Hackney next week. The landlords agents has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Hackney?
Hackney conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting 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 at liberty invoice a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it exceeds £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Hackney conveyancing firm to help?
Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to judgment on the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision 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 unexpired lease term was 90 (or thereabouts).