Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Harrow on the Hill:

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Recently asked questions relating to Harrow on the Hill leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor flat in Harrow on the Hill.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 until 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Harrow on the Hill. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. 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 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).

I am employed by a busy estate agency in Harrow on the Hill where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Harrow on the Hill conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means 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 needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £325000 garden flat in Harrow on the Hill in 5 days. The managing agents has quoted £324 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Harrow on the Hill?

For the majority of leasehold sales in Harrow on the Hill conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

  • Addressing pre-exchange questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Harrow on the Hill
  • Supplying insurance information
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Harrow on the Hill leasehold premises is £350. For Harrow on the Hill conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to supply the information.

Following months of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Harrow on the Hill. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

if there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the price.

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 was in relation to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 75.25 years.

What makes a Harrow on the Hill lease unmortgageable?

Leasehold conveyancing in Harrow on the Hill is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts 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 will have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , Skipton Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.