Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Harrow:

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

Questions and Answers: Harrow leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Harrow. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Harrow are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Harrow in which case you should be shopping around for a Harrow conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.

Back In 2002, I bought a leasehold flat in Harrow. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage went though with no issue. 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 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in Harrow who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Harrow conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line 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 Harrow. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Harrow conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Harrow conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Harrow conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • What are the charges for lease extension conveyancing?

  • After years of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Harrow. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Harrow conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Harrow property 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 affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 75.25 years.

    What makes a Harrow lease problematic?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Harrow is not unique. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements 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 as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Skipton Building Society, and Aldermore all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Harrow