Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hook:

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Common questions relating to Hook leasehold conveyancing

I would like to let out my leasehold flat in Hook. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Even though your previous Hook conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can review your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the apartment. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you need to obtain permission from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. The consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Hook. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Hook ?

The majority of houses in Hook are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Hook so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Hook conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Hook both have about forty five years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Hook is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. For most buyers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Hook conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Hook. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. 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).

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hook from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Hook can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • A minority of Hook 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 put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle 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 will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming process and frustrates many a Hook conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Notwithstanding our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Hook. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Hook conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Hook flat 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 related to 1 flat.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hook