Harrow on the Hill leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Expecting to exchange soon on a studio apartment in Harrow on the Hill. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they will have a report out to me next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Harrow on the Hill should include some of the following:
- Defining your legal entitlements in relation to the communal areas in the block.For instance, does the lease include a right of way over a path or hallways?
I’m about to sell my garden flat in Harrow on the Hill.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Harrow on the Hill. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).
I am employed by a busy estate agency in Harrow on the Hill where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Harrow on the Hill conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 purchaser.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Harrow on the Hill conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Harrow on the Hill conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Harrow on the Hill conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How many lease extensions have they conducted in Harrow on the Hill in the last year?
Notwithstanding our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in seeking a lease extension in Harrow on the Hill. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to assess the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision 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 unexpired term was 75.25 years.