Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Barbican:

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Barbican leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Jane (my partner) and I may need to let out our Barbican 1st floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Barbican conveyancing firm in 2003 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your previous Barbican conveyancing solicitor is not available you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The rule is that if the lease is silent, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to seek consent from your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of first obtaining consent. The consent must not not be unreasonably withheld. If your lease prohibits you from subletting the property you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Barbican. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Barbican should include some of the following:

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • The physical extent of the property. This will be the property itself but could also incorporate a roof space or basement if appropriate.
  • You need to be told what counts as a Nuisance in the lease
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Barbican please ask your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Barbican

  • I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Barbican.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

    It best that you 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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've recently bought a leasehold flat in Barbican. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

    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. Strange as it may seem, 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).

    I own a second floor flat in Barbican. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for a lease extension?

    Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Barbican conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Barbican premises is 137 & 139 Haberdasher Street in December 2013. The Tribunal determines in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease for each Property should be £12,350.00. This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 72.39 years.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Barbican what are the most common lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Barbican. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and Aldermore all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Barbican