Frequently asked questions relating to Highgate leasehold conveyancing
I have just started marketing my garden apartment in Highgate.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I own a leasehold flat in Highgate. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Highgate who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Highgate conveyancing firm 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 landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Highgate. 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. 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).
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Highgate with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Highgate can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Highgate leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Highgate conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
if there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Highgate premises 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 unexpired term was 67.85 years.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Highgate what are the most frequent lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Highgate. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You may have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Virgin Money, and Alliance & Leicester all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.