Top Five Questions relating to March leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I may need to rent out our March garden flat for a while due to a new job. We used a March conveyancing firm in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Your lease governs relations between the landlord and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in March do not contain strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.
Looking forward to complete next month on a basement flat in March. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they report fully next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in March should include some of the following:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in March. Conveyancing and Barnsley Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in March who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a March conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful 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 couple of flats in March both have about fifty years unexpired on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
A lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the value of the lease reduces and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena
I am employed by a busy estate agent office in March where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local March conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in March, conveyancing was carried out 4 years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Equivalent properties in March with a long lease are worth £213,000. The ground rent is £50 invoiced every year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2083
You have 61 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to be between £19,000 and £22,000 plus legals.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.