Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in North Harrow

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Recently asked questions relating to North Harrow leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my ground floor flat in North Harrow.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the service charge 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I work for a busy estate agency in North Harrow where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local North Harrow conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having 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 at the same time as completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a North Harrow conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a North Harrow conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non North Harrow conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in North Harrow who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in North Harrow with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in North Harrow can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • Many landlords or Management Companies in North Harrow charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in North Harrow.
  • Some North Harrow leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £225000 maisonette in North Harrow in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in North Harrow?

    For most leasehold sales in North Harrow 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 North Harrow
    • 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 North Harrow leasehold property is £350. For North Harrow 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 required to provide the information.

    I am the leaseholder of a a ground floor purpose built flat in North Harrow. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a North Harrow conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a North Harrow flat 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 unexpired term as at the valuation date was 75.25 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in North Harrow