Recently asked questions relating to Hampstead Garden Suburb leasehold conveyancing
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor apartment in Hampstead Garden Suburb.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice 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 until 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
Back In 2002, I bought a leasehold house in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Conveyancing and Bank of Ireland mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing practitioner in Hampstead Garden Suburb who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Hampstead Garden Suburb conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. 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).
I work for a reputable estate agent office in Hampstead Garden Suburb where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Hampstead Garden Suburb conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.
Completion in due on the disposal of our £450000 apartment in Hampstead Garden Suburb in just under a week. The management company has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Hampstead Garden Suburb?
Hampstead Garden Suburb conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries most will be content to assist. They may charge a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is technically not due. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.
I own a garden flat in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Hampstead Garden Suburb conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Hampstead Garden Suburb premises is FFF, 37 and Garage 1, Queensborough Court North Circular Road in September 2012. The Tribunal determined that the premium for the lease extension should be £67,037 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 23.66 years.