Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Barnehurst:

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Questions and Answers: Barnehurst leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Barnehurst. Before diving in I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Barnehurst - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

Jane (my partner) and I may need to let out our Barnehurst ground floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We used a Barnehurst conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your last Barnehurst conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The rule is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must seek consent from your landlord or some other party prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Barnehurst. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. Strange as it may seem, 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).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Barnehurst conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Barnehurst conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Barnehurst conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Barnehurst who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension work?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Barnehurst with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Barnehurst can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Barnehurst leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such works. Where you dont have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor in the first instance.
  • Some Barnehurst leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain 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 Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Organising a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy process and slows down many a Barnehurst conveyancing transaction. Where a new share certificate is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in seeking a lease extension in Barnehurst. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to decide the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Barnehurst premises is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case affected 13 flats. The unexpired lease term was 76 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Barnehurst