Barnet leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Barnet both have about forty five years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
There are plenty of short leases in Barnet. The lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease shortens the value of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Barnet where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Barnet conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Barnet conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Barnet conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Barnet conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- What volume of lease extensions have they conducted in Barnet in the last 12 months?
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £275000 garden flat in Barnet in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Barnet?
Barnet conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often involves the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be willing to assist. They may charge a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is above £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.
I inherited a second floor flat in Barnet. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?
Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Barnet conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Barnet flat 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 number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 76 years.
What are the frequently found defects that you come across in leases for Barnet properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Barnet. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Barnsley Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed 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 provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.