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Frequently asked questions relating to Matlock leasehold conveyancing

I only have Seventy years left on my lease in Matlock. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order 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 prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent would be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Matlock.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Matlock. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Matlock are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Matlock in which case you should be shopping around for a Matlock conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.

Back In 2002, I bought a leasehold flat in Matlock. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Matlock who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Matlock conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. 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 employed by a reputable estate agent office in Matlock where we see a few flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Matlock conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-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 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 before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

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 purchaser.

All being well we will complete the sale of our £175000 garden flat in Matlock on Tuesday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Matlock?

For most leasehold sales in Matlock conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

  • Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
  • Where consent is required before sale in Matlock
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Matlock leasehold premises is £350. For Matlock conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to supply answers.

I own a garden flat in Matlock, conveyancing having been completed in 2001. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Equivalent properties in Matlock with over 90 years remaining are worth £261,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 yearly. The lease runs out on 21st October 2093

With just 71 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £13,300 and £15,400 as well as legals.

The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. 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. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Matlock