Common questions relating to Highams Park leasehold conveyancing
I would like to let out my leasehold apartment in Highams Park. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
Some leases for properties in Highams Park do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.
I only have 68 years remaining on my flat in Highams Park. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
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 lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Highams Park.
I have just appointed agents to market my garden apartment in Highams Park.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
It best that you pay 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 managing agents 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 attracted to a couple of apartments in Highams Park both have approximately fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Highams Park is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Highams Park conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Highams Park. 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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 have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Highams Park conveyancing firm to represent me?
if there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the sum to be paid.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Highams Park flat 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 related to 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 104 years.