Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Harold Wood

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Common questions relating to Harold Wood leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years unexpired on my lease in Harold Wood. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. On the whole a specialist would be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Harold Wood.

I’m about to sell my basement flat in Harold Wood.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I work for a reputable estate agency in Harold Wood where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Harold Wood conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, 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 buyer.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Harold Wood conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Harold Wood conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Harold Wood conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Harold Wood who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Harold Wood from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Harold Wood can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Harold Wood state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • A minority of Harold Wood leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. 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 should make it clear that the buyer is 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Arranging a replacement share certificate can be a lengthy process and slows down many a Harold Wood conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Harold Wood conveyancing firm to help?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Harold Wood conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Harold Wood flat is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 57.5 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Harold Wood