Frequently asked questions relating to Hornsey leasehold conveyancing
My partner and I may need to sub-let our Hornsey garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Hornsey conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Hornsey do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates 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.
I only have Sixty One years unexpired on my lease in Hornsey. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
On the basis that you qualify, 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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. On the whole a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Hornsey.
I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Hornsey.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Hornsey. Do I have any liability for 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. 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).
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a Hornsey conveyancing firm to represent me?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Hornsey conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Hornsey property is 7 Aubrey Road in December 2010. By an order of the county court on 15/12/2009 the freehold interest inthe Property known as 7 Aubrey Road London N8 9HH (the Property) and registered at HM Land Registry under title number MX439124 was vested in the applicants. The Tribunal calculated that the total enfranchisement premium, assessed in accordance with Schedule 6 to the Act, was £54,633. This case related to 3 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 73.27 years.
What makes a Hornsey lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Hornsey. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- 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 primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Coventry Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.