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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Highgate

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Highgate. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Highgate - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.

Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold flat in Highgate. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Highgate who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Highgate conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Highgate conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Highgate conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Highgate conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions has the firm completed in Highgate in the last twenty four months?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Highgate with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Highgate can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • The majority landlords or managing agents in Highgate levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Highgate.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Highgate state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. Where you dont have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • Some Highgate leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Highgate conveyancing firm to help?

    in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Highgate residence 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 affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 67.85 years.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Highgate what are the most frequent lease defects?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Highgate is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Birmingham Midshires, Bank of Scotland, and Clydesdale 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 provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Highgate