Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Barnes:

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Questions and Answers: Barnes leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Barnes. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Barnes - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.

Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold flat in Barnes. Conveyancing and Yorkshire Building Society mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Barnes who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Barnes conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Barnes. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. 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).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Barnes conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Barnes conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Barnes conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the legal fees for lease extension conveyancing?

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Barnes conveyancing firm to help?

    Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute 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 decide the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Barnes residence is 25 Petley Road in February 2010. The Tribunal determined that the price payable for the freehold of the subject premises should be £18,760. This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 156.6 years and 66.6 years.

    What makes a Barnes lease defective?

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

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Barnes