Recently asked questions relating to North Harrow leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in North Harrow.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
It best that you clear 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 managing agents 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in North Harrow. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in North Harrow who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a North Harrow conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in North Harrow which have about forty five 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 North Harrow is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 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 North Harrow conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 agency in North Harrow where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local North Harrow conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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 proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as 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.
Completion in due on our sale of a £300000 flat in North Harrow next Monday . The management company has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in North Harrow?
North Harrow conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually requires the buyer’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries most will be content to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I am the registered owner of a two-bedroom flat in North Harrow. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for a lease extension?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a North Harrow conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a North Harrow 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 lease term was 75.25 years.