Questions and Answers: Highams Park leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Highams Park. Before diving in I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Highams Park - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
There are only Sixty One years left on my flat in Highams Park. I am keen 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 submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. On the whole a specialist should be useful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Highams Park.
I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Highams Park.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
It best that you discharge the service charge 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've recently bought a leasehold flat in Highams Park. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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 ensure 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).
I work for a reputable estate agent office in Highams Park where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Highams Park conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence 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 can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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.
I am the registered owner of a second floor flat in Highams Park. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Highams Park conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Highams Park residence 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 the unexpired residue of the current lease was 104 years.