Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Hatch End

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Frequently asked questions relating to Hatch End leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Hatch End. Before diving in I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Hatch End - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

Looking forward to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Hatch End. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • 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 For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Hatch End please ask your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Hatch End

  • Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor apartment in Hatch End.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

    Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

    I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Hatch End which have approximately forty five years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

    There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Hatch End is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. For most buyers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Hatch End conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

    Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hatch End with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hatch End can be reduced if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Hatch End levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hatch End.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Hatch End state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Should you fail to have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in advance.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Organising a duplicate share certificate can be a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Hatch End home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • I am the leaseholder of a first floor flat in Hatch End. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium due for a lease extension?

    if there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Hatch End flat is Flats 8, 11 and 15 Craigmore Court 46 Murray Road in December 2013. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 8 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,438 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenants of Flat 11 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,791 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 15 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,638 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . This case affected 3 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 71 years.