Harrow on the Hill leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Harrow on the Hill. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Harrow on the Hill - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Harrow on the Hill. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Harrow on the Hill who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Harrow on the Hill conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I work for a reputable estate agent office in Harrow on the Hill where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Harrow on the Hill conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
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 buyer.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Harrow on the Hill conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Harrow on the Hill conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Harrow on the Hill conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Harrow on the Hill from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Harrow on the Hill can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Harrow on the Hill leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer before hand.
After months of dialogue we simply can't 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?
Where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to decide the price.
An example of a Lease Extension case 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 related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 75.25 years.