Barbican leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a leasehold property in Barbican. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. 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:
- How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of the 80 year mark
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have since found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Barbican. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Barbican ?
The majority of houses in Barbican are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Barbican in which case you should be looking for a Barbican conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Barbican. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Barbican where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Barbican conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with 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 purchaser.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Barbican from the point of view of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barbican can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
- Many freeholders or managing agents in Barbican charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have 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 delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barbican.
I own a two-bedroom flat in Barbican. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?
if there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Barbican property 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 was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 72.39 years.