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Sample questions relating to Highgate leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years left on my lease in Highgate. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. On the whole a specialist would be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Highgate.

I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Highgate.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

It best that you 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 managing agents 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 today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Highgate. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Highgate ?

Most houses in Highgate are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Highgate so you should seriously consider looking for a Highgate conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.

Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold flat in Highgate. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Highgate who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Highgate conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line 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.

Can you provide 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 reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Highgate leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Should you dont have the consents in place you should not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor first.
  • Some Highgate leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any 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 lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Highgate conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to assess the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension case 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 related to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 67.85 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Highgate