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Questions and Answers: Marylebone leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Marylebone. Before I get started I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Marylebone - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

There are only Fifty years remaining on my flat in Marylebone. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, 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 extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent may be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Marylebone.

I am attracted to a two flats in Marylebone both have about 50 years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Marylebone is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most buyers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive 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 Marylebone conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 any new 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.

Completion in due on the sale of our £425000 apartment in Marylebone on Monday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Marylebone?

Marylebone conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually involves the buyer’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer these enquiries most will be content to assist. They may charge a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries 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 situations it is above £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is technically not due. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.

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

if there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the amount due.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Marylebone residence is Flats 37 & 39 88/90 Portland Place in December 2010. The Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the lease extensions in respect of these two flats is as follows:- For Flat 37, the sum of £385,230.00 For Flat 39, the sum of £436,780.00 This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 24.02 years.

Are there common problems that you encounter in leases for Marylebone properties?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Marylebone. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain elements 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 can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Nottingham Building Society all have express conveyancing instructions 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 provide security, forcing the buyer to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Marylebone