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Frequently asked questions relating to Manor House leasehold conveyancing

I only have 62 years left on my flat in Manor House. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. 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 mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. For most situations a specialist should be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Manor House.

Planning to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Manor House. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

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

  • You should be sent a copy of the lease
  • Defining your rights in relation to common areas in the building.For example, does the lease contain a right of way over a path or hallways?
  • 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
  • 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
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Manor House please ask your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Manor House

  • I have just started marketing my 2 bed flat in Manor House.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

    It best that you discharge 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 management companies 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.

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Manor House with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Manor House can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Manor House levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Manor House.
  • Some Manor House leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle 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 ongoing.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy formality and slows down many a Manor House conveyancing transaction. Where a reissued share is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Having spent years of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Manor House. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    in cases where 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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Manor House flat is 51 Lorne Road in November 2009. The price Payable as decided by the tribunal for the freehold reversion was £27,000. The valuation follows the order of the County Court made on 3 April 2008 granting a vesting order. This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 71 years.

    Are there common problems that you come across in leases for Manor House properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Manor House is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Virgin Money, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.