Q. I am buying a property and am almost ready to exchange contracts but have just had a huge issue flagged up by my lawyer. The apartment itself has a 999 year lease but the parking space only has a 125 year lease. It appears that the current owner bought into the share of the freehold a few years ago which extended the lease term from 125 yrs. to 999 but the same lease was not then extended across to the parking space. Obviously with a flaw like this surrounding the parking space in the lease I cannot proceed. What is the best way to resolve this issue, assuming it can be rectified?
A. Parking is extremely lucrative so you are right to be concerned that the current lease may be defective in this respect. It sounds like there has been an error of some kind when the current owner bought into the freehold it appears that they only extended the apartments lease and not the parking space. Obviously from your standpoint if the apartment has a space its lease term should reflect that of the apartment. This issue can be solved quite easily (as long as the apartment does definitely have a parking space) the sellers solicitor will need to go back to Land registry and ask them to amend the term, If that does not prove possible, it may be that they will need to formally vary the current Lease with the Freeholders. This may prove to be costly as the freeholder will need to instruct their own lawyers to carry out the amendment but the seller will be expected to pay the costs to have this corrected in order to hold this sale together so costs related to this will not be your responsibility. All in all this issue can be rectified as long as there definitely is a parking space it’s just be down to how much time it may take as generally amendments like this can take a while whist it bounces back and forth between all the various parties to resolve.