Frequently asked questions relating to Barnet leasehold conveyancing
I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Barnet.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
It best that you discharge 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Barnet. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Barnet where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Barnet conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner 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 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 at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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 provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Barnet from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barnet can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
- The majority landlords or Management Companies in Barnet levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barnet.
I am the leaseholder of a ground flat in Barnet. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?
Absolutely. 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 premises 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 affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 76 years.
Are there frequently found deficiencies 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 sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- 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 can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Birmingham Midshires, Barnsley Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society 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 problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.