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Top Five Questions relating to Stamford Hill leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Stamford Hill.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Stamford Hill. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Stamford Hill are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Stamford Hill in which case you should be looking for a Stamford Hill conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Stamford Hill. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. A critical element 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).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Stamford Hill conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Stamford Hill conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Stamford Hill conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?

  • I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Stamford Hill. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to assess the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision 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 unexpired lease term was 59 years.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Stamford Hill what are the most frequent lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Stamford Hill. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Chelsea Building Society, and Clydesdale 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 does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Stamford Hill