Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Barnet

While any conveyancing practice can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Barnet, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Barnet leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

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

Some leases for properties in Barnet do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Barnet both have approximately forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are plenty of short leases in Barnet. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Barnet with the aim of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barnet can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • Some Barnet 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 put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual 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 buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and delays many a Barnet conveyancing transaction. If a reissued share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £450000 flat in Barnet on Tuesday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Barnet?

    Barnet conveyancing on leasehold flats ordinarily necessitates administration charges raised by landlords agents :

    • Answering conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Barnet
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Barnet leasehold premises is £350. For Barnet conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide the information.

    My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Barnet. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    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 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision 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 related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 76 years.

    What are the frequently found problems that you witness in leases for Barnet properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Barnet is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions 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 building
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • 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. HSBC Bank, Leeds Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have express conveyancing instructions 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, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Barnet