Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Holloway:

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Common questions relating to Holloway leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my ground floor apartment in Holloway.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the service charge 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've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Holloway. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Holloway are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Holloway so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Holloway conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Holloway conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Holloway conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Holloway conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Holloway who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Holloway from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Holloway can be bypassed where you appoint 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 buyers conveyancers.
    • Some Holloway leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand 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 lawyers.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve 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 are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Holloway home move. If a new share is necessary, 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 verify this via your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I have given up negotiating a lease extension in Holloway. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    if there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the price payable.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Holloway premises is 51 Lorne Road in November 2009. The price Payable as decided by the tribunal for the freehold reversion was £27,000. The valuation follows the order of the County Court made on 3 April 2008 granting a vesting order. This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 71 years.

    What makes a Holloway lease problematic?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Holloway is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Leeds Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.