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Frequently asked questions relating to Hatton leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Hatton. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Hatton - 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.

I am intending to let out my leasehold apartment in Hatton. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Even though your last Hatton conveyancing solicitor is no longer available you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you need to seek consent via your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. Such consent should not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.

There are only 72 years remaining on my flat in Hatton. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?

If you qualify, 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 extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to locate the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Hatton.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Hatton. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. 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).

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hatton from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hatton can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Hatton levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hatton.
  • Some Hatton leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • After years of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Hatton. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    if there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the price payable.

    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 was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 82.93 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hatton