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Recently asked questions relating to Hornchurch leasehold conveyancing

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

Some leases for properties in Hornchurch do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years left on my lease in Hornchurch. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to find the lessor. On the whole a specialist would be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Hornchurch.

I’m about to sell my ground floor flat in Hornchurch.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is discharge 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 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.

I am looking at a couple of apartments in Hornchurch which have about fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Hornchurch is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most buyers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive 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 Hornchurch conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 property in Hornchurch. 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. 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).

Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Hornchurch. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

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

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Hornchurch premises is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 57.5 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Hornchurch