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Top Five Questions relating to Harrow leasehold conveyancing

I wish to let out my leasehold flat in Harrow. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

A lease governs relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Harrow do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.

Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold flat in Harrow. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Harrow who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Harrow conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Harrow both have in the region of forty five years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Harrow is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under 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 premises 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 premises 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 Harrow conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Harrow conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Harrow conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Harrow conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • What volume of lease extensions have they conducted in Harrow in the last year?
  • What are the costs for lease extension conveyancing?

  • All being well we will complete our sale of a £375000 maisonette in Harrow on Wednesday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Harrow?

    Harrow conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries most will be content to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Harrow conveyancing firm to represent me?

    if there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to assess the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Harrow premises is flat 93b Welldon Crescent in May 2009. The Tribunals valuation for a 90-year lease extension of this fat was £13,171 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 75.25 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Harrow