Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Harlington:

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Common questions relating to Harlington leasehold conveyancing

There are only Sixty One years unexpired on my flat in Harlington. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?

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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. For most situations a specialist would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report to 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 covering Harlington.

Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold house in Harlington. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Harlington who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Harlington conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Harlington. 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 Harlington where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Harlington conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer 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.

An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.

Completion in due on the disposal of our £300000 maisonette in Harlington next week. The managing agents has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Harlington?

Harlington conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not requires the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions most will be content to do so. They are at liberty levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is above £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

Having spent months of dialogue we are unable to 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 certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Harlington conveyancing firm who can help.

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 unexpired term was 69 years.

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Lease Extensions in Harlington