Questions and Answers: Harrow leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Harrow. Before I get started I would like to find out the remaining lease term.
Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Harrow - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years remaining on my lease in Harrow. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?
If 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent should be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Harrow.
I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Harrow. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Harrow are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Harrow so you should seriously consider looking for a Harrow conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.
I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Harrow which have approximately 50 years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Harrow is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty 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 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 a residence 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 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 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.
Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Harrow. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Harrow conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Harrow flat 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 the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 75.25 years.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Harrow what are the most common lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Harrow. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Yorkshire Building Society, Virgin Money, and Barclays Direct all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.