Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Haggerston:

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Haggerston leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have recently realised that I have 72 years unexpired on my flat in Haggerston. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What should I do?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Haggerston.

I own a leasehold house in Haggerston. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Haggerston who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Haggerston conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Haggerston. 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. Strange as it may seem, 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).

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Haggerston conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Haggerston conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Haggerston conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Haggerston from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Haggerston can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Haggerston charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Haggerston.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Haggerston leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. Should you fail to have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • Some Haggerston leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I am the proprietor of a second floor flat in Haggerston. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum payable for a lease extension?

    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 you can apply to the LVT to assess the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Haggerston flat is 137 & 139 Haberdasher Street in December 2013. The Tribunal determines in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease for each Property should be £12,350.00. This case affected 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 72.39 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Haggerston