Help with some legal double-negatives please!

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    Help with some legal double-negatives please!

    Hello. I have received a letter from my solicitors concerning the purchase of a leasehold flat.

    "A mortgage lender will only accept a restriction on the mortgage or assignment by the Landlord where it is expressly stated the Landlords consent cannot be unreasonable [sic] withheld.

    The Lease to this property does not state that consent cannot be unreasonable [sic] withheld and our concerns are that the Lease provision does not accord with the requirements of the Council of Mortgage Lenders".

    I'm struggling a bit with the double-negatives in these paragraphs, so would really appreciate a helping hand to decode into plain English!

    Is what they are saying that the Landlord (freeholder), is able to change his/her mind at whim based on anything they want as the lease doesn't say that they are not allowed to? And if so, are they saying that this really isn't on, as most mortgage lenders will find that unacceptable? Are there any laws to prevent this kind of clause being allowed/enforced (lease written in 1975)???

    Why, oh why, can't there be one standard lease declaration with no variations for all leases!!!! Life would be so much simpler!

    #2
    Not 100% sure I follow this.

    Have you asked the solicitors to explain it better ?

    What do they mena when talking about consent ?. Consent to do what ?, Assign ?

    Generally both sides are restricted to what it actually says in the lease and any ambiguities should be interpreted contra proferentem > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contra_proferentem

    I agree that older leases can be a bit of a mess, I've had fun with mine, although generally it has gonein my favour, my freeholder has tried to claim advance charges, interest, admin, etc..as none of these are mentioned in the lease, he simply cant infer they are, he has tried though !

    Andy
    Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

    I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

    It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

    Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for your reply Andy. I believe the paragraphs quoted were in a section of the letter titled "Lease provisions on assignment and letting", so consent to assign possibly (although being clueless in this field, I have no idea what that even means!).

      Thank you for the info on contra proferentem, I shall enquire when my solicitor is in the office today whether this is something that may apply.

      Comment


        #4
        The solicitor and the mortgagee are idiots. They should know that any contract-a lease- term is not enforceable if it is contrary to the law.

        Section 19 LTA 1927 overrides such clauses requiring that the consent not be unreasonably withheld.

        (1)In all leases whether made before or after the commencement of this Act containing a covenant condition or agreement against assigning, underletting, charging or parting with the possession of demised premises or any part thereof without licence or consent, such covenant condition or agreement shall, notwithstanding any express provision to the contrary, be deemed to be subject—
        (a)to a proviso to the effect that such licence or consent is not to be unreasonably withheld,
        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/.../36/section/19

        NB charging means mortgages.
        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the reply leaseholdanswers - I may have misunderstood the issue, but my solicitor has effectively stated that so far as letting the property goes, the law states as you have quoted that the freeholder cannot not permit letting with whatever the lease says or doesn't say.

          With regards to permitting a mortgage against a short-term remaining lease, ie, one under 65 years, the Council of Mortgage Lenders would not approve this lease purchase...

          Comment


            #6
            So I am a bit confused now it seems like several questions.

            With a short lease your lender will not lend, so you need to find one that will, see an IFA, or look into having the existing owner apply for a lease extension by the statutory route and take the benefit of that with the flat ie you complete the extension and pay the premium and costs.

            As to subletting I don't think you have quite got it. The lease clauses are enforceable except where the law says they are not- I read you post as thinking that they lease can be ignored entirely- it can't.

            good luck
            Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

            Comment

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