Top Five Questions relating to Barnsbury leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Barnsbury. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Barnsbury are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Barnsbury in which case you should be looking for a Barnsbury conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.
I own a leasehold flat in Barnsbury. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Barnsbury who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Barnsbury conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Barnsbury. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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).
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Barnsbury with the intention of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barnsbury can be avoided if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
- Some Barnsbury leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. 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 lawyers.
After months of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Barnsbury. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
if there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the price.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Barnsbury residence is Flat 120, Clare Court Judd Street in August 2013. the Tribunal held that the premium to be paid for the extension of the lease should be £64,650 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 62.79 years.
What makes a Barnsbury lease problematic?
Leasehold conveyancing in Barnsbury is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- 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. National Westminster Bank, Coventry Building Society, and Bank of Ireland 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 pull out.