Questions and Answers: Highgate leasehold conveyancing
I wish to let out my leasehold flat in Highgate. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A lease dictates the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Highgate do not prevent subletting altogether – such a provision would adversely affect the market value the property. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a copy of the tenancy agreement.
I have recently realised that I have 62 years remaining on my lease in Highgate. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?
If 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 mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Highgate.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor apartment in Highgate.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
It best that you 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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 house in Highgate. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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).
All being well we will complete our sale of a £450000 flat in Highgate next Thursday . The management company has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Highgate?
Highgate conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates the purchaser’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They may levy a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is above £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
I own a basement flat in Highgate. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Highgate conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Highgate property is Flat 2A 19 Shepherds Hill in June 2014. The tribunal concluded in accordance with section 48 and schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act (the 1993 Act) that the premium payable in respect of the grant of a new lease for the Flat be £24,303 (twenty four thousand three hundred and three pounds) This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 67.85 years.