Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Harmondsworth:

Any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Harmondsworth, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Harmondsworth leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Harmondsworth. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Harmondsworth - 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.

I have just started marketing my 2 bed apartment in Harmondsworth.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Harmondsworth which have about 50 years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Harmondsworth is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat 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 Harmondsworth 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new 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 flat in Harmondsworth. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. It is an essential part 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).

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Harmondsworth from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Harmondsworth can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • A minority of Harmondsworth leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where a dispute is ongoing. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle 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 particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Harmondsworth conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share certificate is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • After years of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Harmondsworth. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Harmondsworth conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Harmondsworth 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 was in relation to 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 69 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Harmondsworth