Top Five Questions relating to Maryland leasehold conveyancing
There are only Sixty One years remaining on my flat in Maryland. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?
If 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years 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 helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Maryland.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Maryland.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is clear 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold flat in Maryland. Conveyancing and Skipton Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Maryland who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Maryland conveyancing solicitor 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 landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Maryland which have about 50 years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Maryland is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 Maryland conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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 the agreed 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.
We expect to complete our sale of a £325000 flat in Maryland next Thursday . The landlords agents has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Maryland?
Maryland conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not involves the buyer’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions most will be willing to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Following months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Maryland. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
in cases where there is a missing landlord or where 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 make a decision on the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Maryland residence is 151A Ham Park Road in May 2010. The matter came before the Tribunal by way of a vesting order made on 12 June 2009 Deputy District Judge Coonan in Bow County Court. The tribunal decided that the sum payable for the m to be paid for the lease extension was £21,445 This case was in relation to 1 flat.