Recently asked questions relating to Hainault leasehold conveyancing
I am intending to rent out my leasehold apartment in Hainault. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?
Even though your last Hainault conveyancing solicitor is not available you can check your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to seek permission from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.
I have recently realised that I have 62 years left on my lease in Hainault. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. In some cases a specialist would be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Hainault.
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Hainault where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Hainault conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, 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 Hainault from the perspective of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hainault can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
- A minority of Hainault 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 obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 solicitors.
If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £375000 flat in Hainault next week. The management company has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Hainault?
Hainault conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates the purchaser’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries the majority will be content to assist. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Hainault conveyancing firm to help?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Hainault conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Hainault property is 201 & 201a St. Barnabas Road in October 2013. The Tribunal decided that the price to be paid by the Applicants for the freehold interest is £20,071. This case affected 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 69.26 years.