Common questions relating to Highgate leasehold conveyancing
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Highgate basement flat for a while due to a new job. We instructed a Highgate conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Highgate do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.
I have recently realised that I have Fifty years remaining on my flat in Highgate. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Highgate.
Due to complete next month on a leasehold property in Highgate. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they are sending me a report next week. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Highgate should include some of the following:
- How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Highgate which have about 50 years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Highgate is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. For most buyers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Highgate conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
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 conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Highgate conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Highgate conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
I have had difficulty in seeking a lease extension in Highgate. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
if there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision 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 affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 67.85 years.