Questions and Answers: Highbury leasehold conveyancing
I only have Sixty One years remaining on my flat in Highbury. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. 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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. For most situations a specialist may be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Highbury.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Highbury. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Highbury 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. it is apparent that you are buying in Highbury so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Highbury conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.
I work for a reputable estate agent office in Highbury where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Highbury conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £250000 apartment in Highbury in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Highbury?
Highbury conveyancing on leasehold flats nine out of ten times necessitates administration charges invoiced by managing agents :
- Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
- Where consent is required before sale in Highbury
- Copies of the building insurance and schedule
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Highbury. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
if there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the price.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Highbury residence is Lower Flat 16A Beatty Road in September 2012. The premium payable was £13,577. The terms of the lease has been agreed between the Applicants and the First Respondent and the Tribunal did not seek to disturb that agreement. This case affected 1 flat.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Highbury what are the most frequent lease defects?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Highbury. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Virgin Money, and Aldermore all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.