Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hayes:

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Hayes leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I want to let out my leasehold flat in Hayes. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

The lease governs the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Hayes do not prevent subletting altogether – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.

I have recently realised that I have 72 years left on my flat in Hayes. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

On the basis that 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 magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to locate the freeholder. For most situations a specialist should be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Hayes.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Hayes. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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).

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Hayes where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Hayes conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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 buyer.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hayes with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hayes can be reduced if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Hayes state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer before hand.
  • A minority of Hayes 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 put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming formality and delays many a Hayes conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share certificate is required, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I have had difficulty in seeking a lease extension in Hayes. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Hayes conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Hayes premises is 164 Nestles Avenue in October 2013. The tribunal agreed with the proposed price of £20,158 for the freehold and determined that that sum is the amount to be paid into court This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 69 years.