Frequently asked questions relating to Lake District leasehold conveyancing
My husband and I may need to let out our Lake District 1st floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Lake District conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
The lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will indicate if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. The majority of leases in Lake District do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.
I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years remaining on my lease in Lake District. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order 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 have used your best endeavours to locate the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Lake District.
Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold house in Lake District. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Lake District who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Lake District conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Lake District both have in the region of forty five years left 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 the lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Lake District. 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).
Leasehold Conveyancing in Lake District - A selection of Questions you should consider before buying
Best to be warned whether window replacement or some other significant cost is due shortly that will be shared by the tenants and may well dramatically increase the the maintenance charges or necessitate a one off payment.
Plenty Lake District leasehold apartments will have a service charge for maintenance of the block levied on behalf of the freeholder. If you acquire the apartment you will have to meet this liability, usually in instalments during the year. This could vary from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built buildings. There will also be a rentcharge for you to pay annual, ordinarily this is not a large figure, say around £50-£100 but you need to check as occasionally it can be surprisingly expensive.
Does the lease contain onerous restrictions?