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Questions and Answers: Hayes leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Hayes. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Hayes - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed flat in Hayes.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is 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 management companies 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.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Hayes. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Hayes who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Hayes conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Hayes. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. 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 be sure 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 offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Hayes conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hayes conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Hayes conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Hayes who can give a testimonial?

  • I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Hayes. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    in cases where there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Hayes flat is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 50.57 years.