Questions and Answers: Hatton leasehold conveyancing
My husband and I may need to let out our Hatton garden flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Hatton conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Your lease governs relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will set out if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Hatton do not prevent subletting altogether – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.
I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years remaining on my flat in Hatton. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. For most situations a specialist should be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Hatton.
I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Hatton. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Hatton ?
Most houses in Hatton are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Hatton in which case you should be shopping around for a Hatton conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Hatton. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation 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. 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 Hatton conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hatton conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Hatton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Hatton conveyancing firm to assist?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Hatton premises is 147 Redford Close in June 2012. The Tribunal determined the lease extension premium to be at £4,200 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 82.93 years.