Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in New Barnet:

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New Barnet leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in New Barnet. Before I set the wheels in motion I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in New Barnet - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.

I have recently realised that I have 72 years left on my lease in New Barnet. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. On the whole a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering New Barnet.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in New Barnet. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in New Barnet ?

The majority of houses in New Barnet are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in New Barnet in which case you should be looking for a New Barnet conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should report to you on the legal implications.

I work for a long established estate agency in New Barnet where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local New Barnet conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 commence 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 sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 New Barnet with the aim of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in New Barnet can be avoided where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in New Barnet levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in New Barnet.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in New Barnet state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. If you dont have the consents to hand do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat 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 particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming process and delays many a New Barnet home move. If a new share certificate is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • I am the leaseholder of a ground flat in New Barnet. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?

    if there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to judgment on the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a New Barnet residence 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 related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 76 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in New Barnet