Frequently asked questions relating to Barnsbury leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our Barnsbury 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Barnsbury conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your previous Barnsbury conveyancing lawyer is not available you can review your lease to check if you are permitted to let out the premises. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are silent, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you are obliged to seek permission via your landlord or other appropriate person in advance of subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. Such consent must not not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I only have 68 years remaining on my flat in Barnsbury. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Barnsbury.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Barnsbury.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
It best that you clear 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 managing agents 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 am looking at a two apartments in Barnsbury which have approximately fifty years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Barnsbury. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation 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 be sure 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 the leaseholder of a basement flat in Barnsbury. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Barnsbury conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Barnsbury premises 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.