Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Friern Barnet

While any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Friern Barnet, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Questions and Answers: Friern Barnet leasehold conveyancing

I want to let out my leasehold apartment in Friern Barnet. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Even though your last Friern Barnet conveyancing lawyer is no longer around you can check your lease to see if it allows you to sublet the premises. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is permitted. There may be a precondition that you must obtain permission via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet without first obtaining consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord for their consent.

Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold flat in Friern Barnet. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Friern Barnet who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Friern Barnet conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a couple of flats in Friern Barnet both have in the region of 50 years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Friern Barnet is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Friern Barnet conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Friern Barnet where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Friern Barnet conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

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 purchaser.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Friern Barnet from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Friern Barnet can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Friern Barnet levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Friern Barnet.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Friern Barnet state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you dont have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • Some Friern Barnet leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice 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 financially capable of paying 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 any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Friern Barnet conveyancing firm to represent me?

    if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Friern Barnet flat is 90 & 96 Poplar Grove in June 2013. It was held by the Tribunal that the premium to be paid for the new lease in respect of each of the flats referred should be £17,942 This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 68 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Friern Barnet