Sample questions relating to Harlesden leasehold conveyancing
I want to rent out my leasehold apartment in Harlesden. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?
A small minority of properties in Harlesden 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 suggests 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.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor flat in Harlesden.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
It best that you clear 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 unless 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 looking at a couple of flats in Harlesden both have about fifty years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
A lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Harlesden. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation 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 work for a long established estate agent office in Harlesden where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Harlesden conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Harlesden conveyancing firm to assist?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Harlesden conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Harlesden premises is First Floor Flat 2B Fortune Gate Road in May 2013. the tribunal decided that the price payable for the lease extension was £9,331, together with £900 in respect of outstanding ground rent. This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 74.31 years.