Questions and Answers: Highbury leasehold conveyancing
I only have 62 years remaining on my flat in Highbury. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. On the whole a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. 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 Highbury.
Planning to sign contracts shortly on a ground floor flat in Highbury. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Highbury should include some of the following:
- You should be sent a copy of the lease
Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold house in Highbury. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Highbury who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
First contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Highbury conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I work for a reputable estate agency in Highbury where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Highbury conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
All being well we will complete our sale of a £225000 apartment in Highbury on Monday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Highbury?
Highbury conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally necessitates the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They may levy a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
I am the registered owner of a first floor flat in Highbury. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement 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 LVT to decide the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Highbury premises 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 was in relation to 1 flat.