The leasehold system in this country can be a complex and confusing one. Many people do not fully understand the implications of signing and entering into a lease when they purchase a flat. There will be a number of covenants in the lease which dictate what you can and can’t do at the property. The lease will also state what payments are due and when they should be paid for things like maintenance, insurance and ground rent. Not adhering to the lease covenants or failing to make payment can leave you open to court action.
If you fail to pay and have a mortgage on the property the normal course of action would be that the landlord or management company will approach your lender for payment. As your lender would consider its security under threat they would normally make payment. In addition it will be almost impossible for you to sell your property if there are outstanding charges.
In some older leases there may be parts of it which are today deemed defective. There really are too many permutations to list but it may mean that you will need a deed of variation to the lease in order to sell your property or arrange a mortgage on it.
If the lease on your property has run down to anything under 80 years you may experience difficulty selling your property. It really will depend on the purchaser, their lawyer or the mortgage lender as to whether they deem the remaining lease term acceptable. For instance some lenders will lend against properties with leases as low as 60 years unexpired while all will insist on at least 30 years unexpired after completion of the mortgage term. The value of the property will reduce as the lease term whittles away and at some point you will probably need to apply to the landlord for a lease extension.
There are a number of peices of legislation that could effect the management of a block of flats which include the following
Landlord and Tenant Act 1985/1987
These Acts form the basis of leasehold legislation in England and Wales
Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002
This Act improves the rights of both leaseholders and freeholders and offers greater control over the management of their property.
Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993
This Act has assisted lessees to purchase the freehold of their property (enfranchisement) and also assisted long leaseholders to purchase a new lease.
Fire Regulations 2006
This law places an emphasis on fire prevention and risk reduction and effects the communal parts of buildings.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
This law requires compliance with all health and safety requirements applicable to the building. It is law that a health and safety policy is put in place and regular risk assessments carried out.
We can assist with a number of leasehold issues including lease extensions, defective leases anddeeds of variation.
Telephone SPL Property Management LLP now on 01202 555560 for further assistance.
For further help and assistance with all leasehold matters contact www.lease-advice.org
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