Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Barkingside

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Frequently asked questions relating to Barkingside leasehold conveyancing

There are only Seventy years remaining on my flat in Barkingside. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application 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 Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Barkingside.

I have just started marketing my ground floor apartment in Barkingside.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is clear 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 unless 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Barkingside where we see a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Barkingside conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate 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 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as 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 buyer.

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

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Barkingside can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Barkingside leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. If you fail to have the approvals to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer before hand.
  • Some Barkingside leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. 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 details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Organising a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Barkingside home move. Where a new share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £150000 garden flat in Barkingside next Monday . The management company has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Barkingside?

    Barkingside conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates administration charges invoiced by managing agents :

    • Completing pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Barkingside
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Barkingside leasehold property is £350. For Barkingside 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 obliged to supply the information.

    Following years of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Barkingside. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the LVT to decide the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Barkingside flat is 104 Coventry Road in July 2014. The Tribunal determined that the lease extension permium should be £22,896.15 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 60.29 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Barkingside