Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Barnehurst

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Barnehurst leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have just started marketing my garden flat in Barnehurst.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice 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 today plan to offer on a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Barnehurst. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Barnehurst ?

Most houses in Barnehurst are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Barnehurst so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Barnehurst conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.

I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Barnehurst which have approximately 50 years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Barnehurst is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Barnehurst conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Barnehurst. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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. A critical element 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).

We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Barnehurst. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the amount due.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Barnehurst property 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 was in relation to 13 flats. The unexpired lease term was 76 years.

What are the frequently found deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Barnehurst properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in Barnehurst is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
  • A duty to insure the building
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Barnehurst