Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Harlington:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Harlington leasehold conveyancing

I only have Sixty One years remaining on my flat in Harlington. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. For most situations a specialist would be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Harlington.

I am attracted to a two flats in Harlington which have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Harlington is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with less than 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 property 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 Harlington 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 work for a reputable estate agent office in Harlington where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Harlington conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the owner 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 start 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 sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, 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 advice for leasehold conveyancing in Harlington with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Harlington can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Harlington levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Harlington.
  • Some Harlington 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 bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming process and slows down many a Harlington home move. Where a new share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Having spent years of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Harlington. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Harlington conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Harlington premises is 164 Nestles Avenue in October 2013. The tribunal agreed with the proposed price of £20,158 for the freehold and determined that that sum is the amount to be paid into court This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 69 years.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Harlington what are the most frequent lease problems?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Harlington is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • 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

    You will encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Bank of Scotland, and Clydesdale all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Harlington