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Top Five Questions relating to Highams Park leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Highams Park. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Highams Park - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.

I am intending to rent 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 permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests 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 have recently realised that I have 72 years remaining on my flat in Highams Park. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order 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 have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. For most situations a specialist would be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Highams Park.

I’m about to sell my ground floor apartment in Highams Park.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is clear 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. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. It is an essential part 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).

Following months of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Highams Park. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute 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 judgment on the price payable.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Highams Park premises 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 affected 2 flats. The unexpired term was 104 years.

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Lease Extensions in Highams Park