Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Highbury:

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Questions and Answers: Highbury leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Highbury. Before I set the wheels in motion 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 almost all 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.

I have just started marketing my basement flat in Highbury.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Highbury. Conveyancing and Barclays mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Highbury who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Highbury conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Highbury conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Highbury conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Highbury conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Highbury who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Highbury with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Highbury can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Highbury charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Highbury.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Highbury leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. If you dont have the paperwork in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy formality and delays many a Highbury home move. Where a new share certificate is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • I am the registered owner of a ground-floor 1960’s flat in Highbury. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount due for the purchase of the freehold?

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to judgment on the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision 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.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Highbury