Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Holloway:

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Holloway leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Holloway. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Holloway - 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.

My fiance and I may need to rent out our Holloway garden flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Holloway conveyancing practice in 2003 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A lease governs the relationship between the freeholder 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 Holloway do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Holloway.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Holloway. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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 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).

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

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Holloway can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Holloway charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Holloway.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Holloway leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you fail to have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • Some Holloway leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • We have reached the end of our tether in seeking a lease extension in Holloway. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    if there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the price.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Holloway property 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 related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 71 years.