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Recently asked questions relating to Stamford Hill leasehold conveyancing

I’m about to sell my garden flat in Stamford Hill.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is clear 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 unless 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 today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Stamford Hill. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Stamford Hill ?

Most houses in Stamford Hill are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Stamford Hill so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Stamford Hill conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.

Back In 2007, I bought a leasehold house in Stamford Hill. Conveyancing and Leeds Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Stamford Hill who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

First contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Stamford Hill conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I work for a reputable estate agency in Stamford Hill where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Stamford Hill conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Stamford Hill from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Stamford Hill can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Stamford Hill levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Stamford Hill.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Stamford Hill leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. Where you fail to have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and 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 over as opposed to unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Stamford Hill conveyancing firm to assist?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Stamford Hill conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Stamford Hill residence is Flat 25, Stamford Hill Mansions Stamford Hill in April 2010. The Tribunal therefore determined that the premium to be paid by the lessee to the freeholder for the extension of the lease should be £28,984.00 This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 59 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Stamford Hill