Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Hackney Wick
My partner and I may need to rent out our Hackney Wick garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Hackney Wick conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Hackney Wick do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.
I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Hackney Wick. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Hackney Wick are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Hackney Wick so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Hackney Wick conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Hackney Wick. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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 ensure 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).
I work for a reputable estate agent office in Hackney Wick where we have witnessed a number of flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Hackney Wick conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Hackney Wick conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hackney Wick conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Hackney Wick conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm 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 any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Hackney Wick conveyancing firm to assist?
if there is a missing freeholder or if 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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the price payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Hackney Wick property 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 remaining number of years on the lease was 72.02 years.