Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Hornsey:

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Hornsey leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I own a leasehold flat in Hornsey. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Hornsey who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Hornsey conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a two maisonettes in Hornsey both have in the region of 50 years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Hornsey is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the value of the property. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with less than 75 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 premises 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 Hornsey 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 They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new 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 Hornsey. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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).

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Hornsey where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Hornsey conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the purchaser.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Hornsey from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hornsey can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers solicitors.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Hornsey levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hornsey.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Hornsey state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Should you fail to have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Hornsey home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • I inherited a second floor flat in Hornsey. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    if there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to judgment on the premium.

    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 was in relation to 3 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 73.27 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hornsey