Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Harrow:

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Recently asked questions relating to Harrow leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I may need to let out our Harrow ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Harrow conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

A lease dictates relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Harrow do not contain subletting altogether – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the tenancy agreement.

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a ground floor flat in Harrow. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Harrow should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • The physical extent of the premises. This will be the flat itself but might incorporate a roof space or cellar if applicable.
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Harrow please ask your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Harrow

  • I am looking at a two apartments in Harrow both have about fifty years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

    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 closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty 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 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 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 Harrow 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 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.

    I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Harrow where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Harrow conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

    As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

    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.

    After months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Harrow. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Most certainly. 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 residence 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 remaining number of years on the lease was 75.25 years.

    What makes a Harrow lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Harrow. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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

    You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Aldermore all have express 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, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Harrow