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Frequently asked questions relating to Murton leasehold conveyancing

My husband and I may need to let out our Murton basement flat temporarily due to taking a sabbatical. We used a Murton conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have closed and we did not have the foresight to seek any advice as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?

Your lease dictates relations between the landlord and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is prohibited, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Murton do not prevent strict prohibition on subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. Instead, there is usually a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly supplying a copy of the sublease.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years left on my lease in Murton. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to track down the landlord. On the whole a specialist would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Murton.

I am looking at a couple of apartments in Murton which have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Murton is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Murton conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Murton where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Murton conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

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 proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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 buyer.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Murton what are the most common lease problems?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Murton. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
  • 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 as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Barnsley Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed requirements 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

Leasehold Conveyancing in Murton - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to buying

    It would be wise to enquire if there is anything that is prohibited in the lease. For example it is very common in Murton leases that pets are not permitted in certain buildings in Murton. If you like the propertyin Murton but your dog is not allowed to live with you then you will be faced difficult choice. Who manages the building? How is the lease structured?

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Murton