Harrow on the Hill leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Harrow on the Hill. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Harrow on the Hill are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Harrow on the Hill so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Harrow on the Hill conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder 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 maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Harrow on the Hill which have about forty five years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There are plenty of short leases in Harrow on the Hill. The lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Harrow on the Hill. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Harrow on the Hill conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Harrow on the Hill conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Harrow on the Hill conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How many lease extensions has the firm conducted in Harrow on the Hill in the last 12 months?
Following years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Harrow on the Hill. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Harrow on the Hill conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Harrow on the Hill 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 the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 75.25 years.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Harrow on the Hill what are the most frequent lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Harrow on the Hill. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements 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
You may encounter 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. HSBC Bank, Barnsley Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester 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 provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.