Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Marlow:

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Marlow leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Marlow. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Marlow - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.

I would like to let out my leasehold apartment in Marlow. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Your lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; specifically, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Marlow do not contain subletting altogether – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.

I have recently realised that I have Fifty years left on my lease in Marlow. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

If 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 enable the lease to be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Marlow.

I work for a reputable estate agent office in Marlow where we see a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Marlow conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that 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 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.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Marlow with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Marlow can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Marlow charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Marlow.
  • A minority of Marlow leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a new share certificate is often a time consuming process and slows down many a Marlow home move. If a reissued share certificate is necessary, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Marlow - Examples of Queries Prior to buying

      The best form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this arrangement the leaseholders have control and notwithstanding that a managing agent is usually employed if it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent employed by the leaseholders. Best to be warned whether redecorating or some other major work is pending that will be shared by the leasehold owners and will dramatically impact the level of the maintenance fees or necessitate a specific invoice. This question is useful as a) areas may result in problems in the building as the common areas may begin to deteriorate where repairs are not paid for b) if the leasehold owners have an issue with the running of the building you will need to have complete disclosure

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Marlow