Harlow leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to sub-let our Harlow garden flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Harlow conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in Harlow do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see 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 permission.
Planning to complete next month on a leasehold property in Harlow. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Harlow should include some of the following:
- The unexpired lease term 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
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Harlow. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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. It is an essential part 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).
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Harlow where we see a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Harlow conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
What makes a Harlow lease defective?
Leasehold conveyancing in Harlow is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, Coventry Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have express conveyancing instructions 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 grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.
Harlow Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should ask before buying
Does the lease have in excess of 85 years unexpired?
It would be wise to find out as much as possible concerning the managing agents as they can either make living at the property much simpler or a lot more difficult. Being a leasehold owner you are often at the mercy of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to practical matters like the tidiness of the common parts. Enquire of other tenants whether they are happy with their service. In conclusion, find out the dates that the service fees are due to the managing agents and precisely what you get for your money.
It is important to be aware if a new roof is being installed or some other significant cost is due in the near future that will be shared by the leasehold owners and will materially impact the level of the service charges or require a specific invoice.