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Questions and Answers: Hook leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Hook. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Hook - 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.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years unexpired on my flat in Hook. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent may be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Hook.

I have just started marketing my ground floor flat in Hook.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is pay 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Hook. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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. A critical element 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 choosing a Hook conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Hook conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Hook conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What are the costs for lease extension conveyancing?

  • I am the proprietor of a basement flat in Hook. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    if there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Hook residence is Flat D 15 Claremont Gardens in September 2013. TheTribunal determined in accordance with section48 and Schedule13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty seven pounds (£14,187.00) This case was in relation to 1 flat.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hook