Frequently asked questions relating to South Hackney leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my garden flat in South Hackney.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in South Hackney both have approximately fifty years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in South Hackney is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the property. For most buyers and banks, leases with under eighty 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 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 South Hackney 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.
I work for a busy estate agent office in South Hackney where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local South Hackney conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in South Hackney with the intention of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in South Hackney can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? South Hackney leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you fail to have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
I have given up negotiating a lease extension in South Hackney. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a South Hackney conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a South Hackney residence is 150 Amhurst Road in December 2013. The tribunal concluded that the premium to be paid by the applicant for the enfranchisement of the subject property was £43,500. This case related to 4 flats. The unexpired term was 90 (or thereabouts).
What makes a South Hackney lease defective?
Leasehold conveyancing in South Hackney is not unique. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- 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
A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.