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Maryland leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Maryland.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you clear 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold flat in Maryland. Conveyancing and Birmingham Midshires mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Maryland who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Maryland conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. 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.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Maryland which have approximately fifty years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are plenty of short leases in Maryland. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As a lease shortens the saleability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Maryland. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. However, 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 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 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 matter before the tribunal 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 related to 1 flat.

In relation 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 clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
  • 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

You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Britannia all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Maryland