Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Barking:

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Barking, you will need to instruct a conveyancing lawyer with leasehold experience. Whether your mortgage company is to be Lloyds, Birmingham Midshires or NatWest be sure to find a lawyer on their approved list. Find a Barking conveyancing lawyer with our search tool

Common questions relating to Barking leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my garden apartment in Barking.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you discharge the service charge 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Barking. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Barking ?

The majority of houses in Barking are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Barking so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Barking conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Barking. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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 work for a reputable estate agent office in Barking where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Barking conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, 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.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Barking from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Barking can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Barking levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover 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 typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barking.
  • If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where a dispute is ongoing. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a new share certificate can be a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Barking conveyancing deal. If a duplicate share is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Barking. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Barking conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Barking property is 240 Strone Road in January 2014. the tribunal held that the price to be paid for the freehold interest was£23,538 of which£13,017 is attributable to the ground floor flat and £10,521 to the first floor flat. This case related to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 65.5 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Barking