Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Harlow:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Harlow leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Harlow. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Harlow - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed flat in Harlow.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the invoice 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 am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Harlow where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Harlow conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the purchaser.

What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Harlow conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Harlow conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Harlow conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Harlow who can give a testimonial?

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £425000 maisonette in Harlow on Friday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Harlow?

    Harlow conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually involves the purchaser’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be content to do so. They may charge a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    Harlow Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should consider before buying

      Many Harlow leasehold flats will have a service bill for the upkeep of the block set by the management company. If you acquire the apartment you will have to meet this liability, usually periodically accross the year. This can vary from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large common grounds. There will also be a rentcharge to be met yearly, this is usually not a significant amount, say about £50-£100 but you should to enquire as sometimes it can be many hundreds of pounds. Does the lease include onerous restrictions? Best to be warned if redecorating or some other major work is pending that will be shared by the leasehold owners and could well materially impact the level of the service costs or necessitate a specific payment.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Harlow