Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Harlesden:

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Top Five Questions relating to Harlesden leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Harlesden. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Harlesden - 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 apartment in Harlesden.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 management companies 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 attracted to a two apartments in Harlesden which have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Harlesden is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 a residence 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 Harlesden conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed 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.

I am employed by a busy estate agency in Harlesden where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Harlesden conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start 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 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.

Completion in due on the disposal of our £350000 flat in Harlesden in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Harlesden?

Harlesden conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not involves the purchaser’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Harlesden conveyancing firm to help?

Where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the amount due.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Harlesden residence 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 related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 74.31 years.

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Lease Extensions in Harlesden