Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in West Harrow:

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West Harrow leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I wish to rent out my leasehold flat in West Harrow. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Some leases for properties in West Harrow do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years remaining on my lease in West Harrow. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing West Harrow.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in West Harrow. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in West Harrow are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in West Harrow in which case you should be looking for a West Harrow conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in West Harrow. Am I liable to pay 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 owner 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. A critical element 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).

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a West Harrow conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a West Harrow conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non West Harrow conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:

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

  • After years of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in West Harrow. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a West Harrow conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a West 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 75.25 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in West Harrow