Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Highbury

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Frequently asked questions relating to Highbury leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Highbury. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Highbury - 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 remaining on my lease in Highbury. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder 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 mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent should be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Highbury.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed flat in Highbury.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Highbury. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

In a situation 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. A critical element 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).

If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £225000 flat in Highbury in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Highbury?

Highbury conveyancing on leasehold flats usually results in administration charges invoiced by landlords agents :

  • Completing pre-contract enquiries
  • 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
Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Highbury leasehold property is £350. For Highbury conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide the information.

After months of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Highbury. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Highbury conveyancing firm who can help.

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 affected 1 flat.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Highbury