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Common questions relating to Hackney Marshes leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Hackney Marshes. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Hackney Marshes - 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 have just started marketing my 2 bed flat in Hackney Marshes.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the service charge 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 unless 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Hackney Marshes where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Hackney Marshes conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hackney Marshes with the aim of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hackney Marshes can be reduced if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many freeholders or managing agents in Hackney Marshes levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hackney Marshes.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Hackney Marshes state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such works. Should you dont have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer before hand.
  • Some Hackney Marshes leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Completion in due on the disposal of our £150000 apartment in Hackney Marshes on Tuesday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Hackney Marshes?

    Hackney Marshes conveyancing on leasehold flats normally involves administration charges levied by landlords agents :

    • Answering conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Hackney Marshes
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Hackney Marshes leasehold premises is £350. For Hackney Marshes conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide the information.

    I have had difficulty in negotiating a lease extension in Hackney Marshes. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, 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 arrive at the premium.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Hackney Marshes premises is 12 Nutfield Road in July 2014. the Tribunal judged that the price to be paid by the applicants for the freehold interest should be £19,572 This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 72.02 years.