Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Barnsbury

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Frequently asked questions relating to Barnsbury leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Barnsbury. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Barnsbury - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Barnsbury. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they report fully tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Barnsbury should include some of the following:

  • The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and informed of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
  • Does the lease prevent you from renting out the property, or working from home
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • I don't know whether the lease allows me to alter or improve anything in the flat - you should know whether it applies to all alterations or just structural alteration, and whether consent is required
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your property and do you know what it means in practice? For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Barnsbury please enquire of your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Barnsbury

  • I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Barnsbury where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Barnsbury conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as 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.

    Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Barnsbury from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Barnsbury can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Barnsbury leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. If you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor before hand.
  • Some Barnsbury leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. 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 purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete our sale of a £125000 maisonette in Barnsbury next week. The management company has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Barnsbury?

    Barnsbury conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not involves the purchaser’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.

    Having spent years of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Barnsbury. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Barnsbury property 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.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Barnsbury