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Top Five Questions relating to Maryport leasehold conveyancing

Jane (my partner) and I may need to sub-let our Maryport basement flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We used a Maryport conveyancing firm in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

A lease governs the relationship between the freeholder and you the leaseholder; in particular, 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 allowed. Most leases in Maryport do not prevent an absolute prevention of subletting – such a provision would undoubtedly devalue the property. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a duplicate of the sublease.

Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold flat in Maryport. Conveyancing and Barclays Direct mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Maryport who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Maryport conveyancing lawyer 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 landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am employed by a busy estate agency in Maryport where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Maryport conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Maryport conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Maryport conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Maryport conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How many lease extensions have they conducted in Maryport in the last year?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Maryport who can give a testimonial?

  • When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Maryport what are the most common lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Maryport. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
    • 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 could encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, Barnsley Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.

    I invested in buying a ground floor flat in Maryport, conveyancing was carried out 2005. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Similar flats in Maryport with an extended lease are worth £195,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 invoiced every year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2095

    With just 74 years unexpired the likely cost is going to be between £10,500 and £12,000 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

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    Lease Extensions in Maryport