Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in St Margarets
Harry (my fiance) and I may need to let out our St Margarets ground floor flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a St Margarets conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?
A small minority of properties in St Margarets do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests 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 consent.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years unexpired on my flat in St Margarets. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply 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. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing St Margarets.
I own a leasehold house in St Margarets. Conveyancing and Barnsley Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in St Margarets who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a St Margarets 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 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I work for a reputable estate agent office in St Margarets where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local St Margarets conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the purchaser.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a St Margarets conveyancing firm to help?
if there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a St Margarets premises is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 60.45 years.
What makes a St Margarets lease defective?
Leasehold conveyancing in St Margarets is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- 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
You will encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Clydesdale 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 does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.