Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Barbican

Any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Barbican, your mortgage provider may unwilling to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

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
  • The physical extent of the premises. This will be the apartment itself but could also incorporate a roof space or basement if appropriate.
  • Setting out your legal entitlements in respect of common areas in the block.By way of example, does the lease grant a right of way over a path or staircase?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a sinking fund?
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Barbican please ask your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Barbican

  • 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.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Barbican leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. Where you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • Some Barbican leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Barbican conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • 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.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Barbican