Leasehold Conveyancing in Barbican - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Common questions relating to Barbican leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Barbican. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Barbican are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Barbican so you should seriously consider looking for a Barbican conveyancing solicitor and be sure 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 leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.

I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Barbican which have in the region of fifty years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Barbican is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the property. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with under eighty 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 Barbican conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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 any new 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Barbican from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Barbican can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers solicitors.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in Barbican levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barbican.
  • A minority of Barbican leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Barbican home move. If a reissued share is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the disposal of our £125000 garden flat in Barbican on Monday in a week. The managing agents has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Barbican?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Barbican conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Completing conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Barbican
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Barbican leasehold premises is £350. For Barbican 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 supply the information.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Barbican conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Barbican conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Barbican residence 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 residue of the current lease was 72.39 years.

    Are there common deficiencies that you see in leases for Barbican properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Barbican is not unique. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Coventry Building Society, and Aldermore all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Barbican