Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Barnes Cray:

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Barnes Cray leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Barnes Cray. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and almost all are in Barnes Cray - 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.

I want to rent out my leasehold apartment in Barnes Cray. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Do I need to ask my freeholder for their consent?

A lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, it will say if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Barnes Cray do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.

I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Barnes Cray.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is 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 managing agents 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 work for a busy estate agent office in Barnes Cray where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Barnes Cray conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as 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. This means that the buyer need not have 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 simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.

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

When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Barnes Cray conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Barnes Cray conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Barnes Cray. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Barnes Cray conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Barnes Cray 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 related to 13 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 76 years.