Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Barnet

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Questions and Answers: Barnet leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Barnet. Before I get started I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Barnet - 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 only have 72 years left on my flat in Barnet. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful 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 solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Barnet.

I’m about to sell my ground floor apartment in Barnet.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am looking at a couple of apartments in Barnet which have approximately fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are plenty of short leases in Barnet. The lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is advisable to extend the lease term. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Barnet from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barnet can be reduced where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Barnet leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such works. Should you fail to have the approvals in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in the first instance.
  • Some Barnet leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain 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 freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and delays many a Barnet conveyancing deal. If a new share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is under 75 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Having spent months of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Barnet. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Barnet residence is Flat 2 2 Netherfield Road in April 2010. The Tribunale held that premium payable for a 90 year extension to the existing Lease should be £7,705. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 76 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Barnet