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Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years unexpired on my lease in Finsbury. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Finsbury.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Finsbury.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is 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 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 hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Finsbury. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Finsbury are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Finsbury in which case you should be looking for a Finsbury conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.

Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold house in Finsbury. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Finsbury who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Finsbury conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. 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.

We expect to complete the disposal of our £450000 garden flat in Finsbury on Thursday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Finsbury?

Finsbury conveyancing on leasehold flats often involves the buyer’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be content to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.

I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Finsbury conveyancing firm to assist?

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

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Finsbury flat is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 66.8 years.