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Harlesden leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Harlesden. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Harlesden are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Harlesden in which case you should be shopping around for a Harlesden conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Harlesden. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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 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).

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Harlesden with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Harlesden can be reduced where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Harlesden charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Harlesden.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Harlesden state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. If you fail to have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • A minority of Harlesden leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than ongoing.

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £425000 maisonette in Harlesden on Thursday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Harlesden?

    Harlesden conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually involves the buyer’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries most will be content to assist. They may invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? 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 Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Harlesden property 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 74.31 years.

    What makes a Harlesden lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Harlesden is not unique. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • 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 can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , Bank of Scotland, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements 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 provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Harlesden