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Questions and Answers: Marks Gate leasehold conveyancing

Frank (my husband) and I may need to let out our Marks Gate garden flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a Marks Gate conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Notwithstanding that your previous Marks Gate conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is allowed. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to seek consent from your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior consent. Such consent is not allowed to be unreasonably withheld. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you will need to ask your landlord for their consent.

There are only Seventy years remaining on my lease in Marks Gate. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?

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 magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. On the whole a specialist may be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Marks Gate.

Expecting to complete next month on a leasehold property in Marks Gate. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report on Monday. What should I be looking out for?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Marks Gate should include some of the following:

  • The physical extent of the demise. This will be the flat itself but may include a roof space or cellar if applicable.
  • Defining your legal entitlements in respect of common areas in the block.By way of example, does the lease provide for a right of way over a path or hallways?
  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • Does the lease prevent you from letting out the property, or having a home office for business
  • 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 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
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Marks Gate please enquire of your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Marks Gate

  • Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed flat in Marks Gate.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

    Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the service charge 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.

    I've recently bought a leasehold house in Marks Gate. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

    In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).

    I inherited a first flat in Marks Gate. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium payable for a lease extension?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Marks Gate residence is 49 Aldborough Road South in July 2012. The Tribunal decided that the premium payable for the grant of the new lease was £13,925 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 61.36 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Marks Gate