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Questions and Answers: Hainault leasehold conveyancing

I would like to let 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 permission?

A lease governs relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Hainault do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.

I am hoping to complete next month on a studio apartment in Hainault. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Hainault should include some of the following:

  • The total extent of the property. This will be the flat itself but might include a roof space or basement if applicable.
  • Defining your rights in respect of the communal areas in the building.For example, does the lease grant a right of way over a path or staircase?
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Hainault please ask your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Hainault

  • I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Hainault. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

    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. A critical element 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).

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hainault from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hainault can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Hainault leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor in the first instance.
  • Some Hainault leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Hainault conveyancing transaction. Where a reissued share certificate is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your solicitors. 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. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I have had difficulty in seeking a lease extension in Hainault. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Hainault conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Hainault residence 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 unexpired term was 69.26 years.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Hainault what are the most common lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Hainault. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Virgin Money, and TSB all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hainault