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Questions and Answers: Maryland leasehold conveyancing

Frank (my husband) and I may need to sub-let our Maryland ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Maryland conveyancing firm in 2001 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

A small minority of properties in Maryland do contain a provision to say that subletting is only allowed with permission. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably refuse but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience dictates that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

I only have Seventy years left on my flat in Maryland. I need to extend my lease but my landlord 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 Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the landlord. For most situations a specialist would be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Maryland.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Maryland. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Maryland who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

First contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Maryland conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured 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 looking at a two apartments in Maryland which have about fifty years unexpired on the lease term. should I be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Maryland. The lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease decreases and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

I have given up negotiating a lease extension in Maryland. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Maryland conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Maryland flat 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.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Maryland what are the most common lease problems?

Leasehold conveyancing in Maryland is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
  • A duty to insure the building
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease will likely 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, The Mortgage Works, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Maryland