Top Five Questions relating to Barbican leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years unexpired on my flat in Barbican. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Barbican.
Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold house in Barbican. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Barbican who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Barbican conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am attracted to a two flats in Barbican both have about 50 years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the saleability of the lease reduces and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field
I am employed by a busy estate agency in Barbican where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Barbican conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser 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 at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
After years of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Barbican. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
if there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension case 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 unexpired term was 72.39 years.
What are the common deficiencies that you see in leases for Barbican properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Barbican. Most leases are individual 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 premises
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Yorkshire Building Society, The Mortgage Works, and Britannia 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, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.