Frequently asked questions relating to March leasehold conveyancing
Helen (my wife) and I may need to rent out our March 1st floor flat for a while due to taking a sabbatical. We instructed a March conveyancing practice in 2001 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any advice as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last March conveyancing lawyer is not available you can check your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the apartment. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you must seek permission via your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably turned down. If the lease prohibits you from letting out the property you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
I've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in March. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in March are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in March so you should seriously consider shopping around for a March conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in March. Conveyancing and TSB 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 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in March who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
First contact HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a March conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a March conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a March conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non March conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
What makes a March lease unacceptable for security purposes?
Leasehold conveyancing in March is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Virgin Money, and Britannia 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, obliging the buyer to pull out.
March Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Questions you should ask before buying
Many March leasehold properties will incur a service bill for the upkeep of the building levied by the landlord. Should you purchase the apartment you will have to meet this liability, normally in instalments accross the year. This can be anything from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for large purpose-built buildings. In all probability there will be a rentcharge to be met annual, this is usually not a significant figure, say about £25-£75 but you should to enquire it because on occasion it could be surprisingly expensive.
It would be sensible to enquire if the the lease contains any onerous restrictions in the lease. For example it is fairly common in March leases that pets are not permitted in certain buildings in March. If you love the flatin March but your cat is not allowed to make the move with you then you will be faced difficult decision.
The answer will be helpful as a) areas may result in problems for the building as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate where services are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have an issue with the managing agents you will wish to know about it