Recently asked questions relating to Poundbury leasehold conveyancing
I only have Fifty years remaining on my flat in Poundbury. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the lessor. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Poundbury.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Poundbury. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Poundbury who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Poundbury conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I work for a busy estate agency in Poundbury where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Poundbury conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
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 buyer.
We expect to complete the sale of our £175000 flat in Poundbury in nine days. The managing agents has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Poundbury?
For the majority of leasehold sales in Poundbury conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :
- Answering conveyancing due diligence questions
- Where consent is required before sale in Poundbury
- Copies of the building insurance and schedule
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Are there frequently found defects that you come across in leases for Poundbury properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Poundbury. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
- 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
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. National Westminster Bank, Bank of Scotland, and Nottingham Building Society all have very detailed requirements 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, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Poundbury - A selection of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
Does the lease have onerous restrictions?
Are any of leasehold owners in dispute over their service charge payments?
How is the lease structured?