Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Harlesden
I have just started marketing my 2 bed apartment in Harlesden.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is 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 management companies 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am attracted to a two flats in Harlesden which have about forty five years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Harlesden is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty 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 premises 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 Harlesden 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 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've recently bought a leasehold property in Harlesden. Do I have any liability for 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 employed by a reputable estate agency in Harlesden where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Harlesden conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that 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 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 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 buyer.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Harlesden with the aim of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Harlesden can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
- Many landlords or managing agents in Harlesden charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Harlesden.
Following months of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Harlesden. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Harlesden conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Harlesden flat 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 remaining number of years on the lease was 74.31 years.