Top Five Questions relating to Highbury leasehold conveyancing
I am intending to sublet my leasehold apartment in Highbury. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Highbury do not contain subletting altogether – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.
I own a leasehold house in Highbury. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Highbury who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Highbury conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Highbury both have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are plenty of short leases in Highbury. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the saleability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Highbury from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Highbury can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
- Many freeholders or Management Companies in Highbury charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Highbury.
I inherited a second floor flat in Highbury. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount payable for a lease extension?
Absolutely. 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 property 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.
What are the common deficiencies that you come across in leases for Highbury properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Highbury is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- 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 can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Virgin Money, and Alliance & Leicester all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.