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Sample questions relating to Hackney leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my ground floor apartment in Hackney.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you pay the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I own a leasehold flat in Hackney. Conveyancing and TSB mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Hackney who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Hackney conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Hackney both have about fifty years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Hackney is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more positive 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 a residence 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new 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.

We expect to complete the sale of our £400000 maisonette in Hackney on Monday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Hackney?

Hackney conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates the buyer’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions the majority will be willing to do so. They may charge a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.

I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Hackney conveyancing firm to represent me?

Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute 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 calculate the price.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal 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 affected 4 flats. The unexpired term was 90 (or thereabouts).

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Hackney what are the most common lease defects?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Hackney. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections 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 property
  • A duty to insure the building
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Virgin Money, and Alliance & Leicester 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 is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Hackney