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Highams Park leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I wish to sublet my leasehold flat in Highams Park. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Notwithstanding that your last Highams Park conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you need to seek permission from your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. The net result is that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

I work for a reputable estate agent office in Highams Park where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Highams Park conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Highams Park conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

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

  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Highams Park in the last year?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Highams Park from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Highams Park can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Highams Park leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. Should you dont have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy process and frustrates many a Highams Park conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this by asking your lawyers. A buyer’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 consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £300000 apartment in Highams Park in nine days. The freeholder has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Highams Park?

    For most leasehold sales in Highams Park conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Answering conveyancing due diligence questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Highams Park
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Highams Park leasehold property is £350. For Highams Park conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide the information.

    Notwithstanding our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Highams Park. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the price.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Highams Park property is 48 Greenleaf Road in December 2009. the lessees sought to exercise their right to purchase the freehold from the landlord by way of collective enfranchisement in accordance with the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.The landlord could not be found.A vesting order was granted from the Bow County Court on 10 September 2007 (Claim No: 8BO04141). The Tribunal held that the premium to be paid was £3,850 This case was in relation to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 104 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Highams Park