Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Hornsey

While any conveyancing practice can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Hornsey, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Top Five Questions relating to Hornsey leasehold conveyancing

My fiance and I may need to rent out our Hornsey 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Hornsey conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Some leases for properties in Hornsey do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 consent.

I only have 72 years remaining on my lease in Hornsey. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Hornsey.

I have just started marketing my basement flat in Hornsey.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

It best that you 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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I work for a long established estate agency in Hornsey where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Hornsey conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities 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 start 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

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 advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hornsey with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hornsey can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Hornsey charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hornsey.
  • A minority of Hornsey leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You will have to accept that you will have to pay 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 particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Hornsey conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Hornsey flat 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 the unexpired residue of the current lease was 73.27 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hornsey