Questions and Answers: Harlington leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Harlington. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Harlington - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Fifty years unexpired on my flat in Harlington. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?
If you qualify, 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 mean that your lease can 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 find the lessor. For most situations a specialist would be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Harlington.
I am employed by a busy estate agency in Harlington where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Harlington conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Harlington conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Harlington conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Harlington conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Harlington who can give a testimonial?
Despite our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Harlington. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the amount due.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Harlington property 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 affected 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 69 years.
What makes a Harlington lease defective?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Harlington. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
- Insurance obligations
- 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 could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Barnsley Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.