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Questions and Answers: Ripley leasehold conveyancing

I wish to sublet my leasehold apartment in Ripley. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Do I need to ask my freeholder for permission?

Some leases for properties in Ripley do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord cannot unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to see references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting permission.

I own a leasehold flat in Ripley. Conveyancing and Alliance & Leicester mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Ripley who previously acted has long since 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 indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Ripley conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. 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 attracted to a two maisonettes in Ripley both have about 50 years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Ripley is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 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 premises 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 Ripley conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new 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 work for a reputable estate agent office in Ripley where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Ripley conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that 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 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 needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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 purchaser.

Are there frequently found deficiencies that you see in leases for Ripley properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in Ripley is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
  • Insurance obligations
  • 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 can cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, The Mortgage Works, and Barclays Direct 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

Leasehold Conveyancing in Ripley - Examples of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing

    Is there a share of the freehold? Does the lease have onerous restrictions? It is important to be aware if a new roof is being put on or some other significant cost is due shortly to be shared amongst the leasehold owners and may well materially impact the level of the service fees or require a specific payment.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Ripley