Recently asked questions relating to Hoxton leasehold conveyancing
I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Hoxton. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Hoxton are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Hoxton in which case you should be looking for a Hoxton conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Hoxton. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Hoxton who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Hoxton conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am looking at a two flats in Hoxton which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Hoxton 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 marketability of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under 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 premises 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 Hoxton 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 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Hoxton conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Hoxton conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Hoxton conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I am the proprietor of a ground floor flat in Hoxton. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium due for a lease extension?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Hoxton conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Hoxton flat is 137 & 139 Haberdasher Street in December 2013. The Tribunal determines in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease for each Property should be £12,350.00. This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 72.39 years.
What makes a Hoxton lease unacceptable for security purposes?
Leasehold conveyancing in Hoxton is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are not included. 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 building
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Chelsea Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express requirements 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 provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.