Maryland leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Jane (my partner) and I may need to rent out our Maryland 1st floor flat temporarily due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Maryland conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have closed and we did not think at the time get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
The lease dictates the relationship between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will say if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. Most leases in Maryland do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the tenancy agreement.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Maryland. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Maryland who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Maryland conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Maryland. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. It is an essential part 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).
Completion in due on the disposal of our £400000 apartment in Maryland in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £324 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Maryland?
Maryland conveyancing on leasehold flats normally involves the buyer’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions most will be willing to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.
After years of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Maryland. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
if there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Maryland premises 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 affected 1 flat.
What are the frequently found deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Maryland properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Maryland is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
- Insurance obligations
- 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 can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Leeds Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.