Buying and selling property on St Mary's Island
If you are planning to buy or sell a property on St Mary's Island you should direct your solicitor or conveyancer to this information.
It will help explain the process and may avoid delay in your transaction.
- All houses on St Mary’s Island are subject to a Rentcharge Deed. The Rentcharge Deed places certain obligations on the house owner relating to the appearance and use of the house (see Restrictive Covenants).
- The Rentcharge Deed also provides for the payment of an annual sum, called a rentcharge. The rentcharge is similar to a maintenance charge and is paid to the ‘Rentcharge Owner’. In return for these payments, the Rentcharge Owner provides various services to St Mary’s Island.
- The Rentcharge Owner is in most circumstances Chatham Maritime Trust. All enquiries on any rentcharge should be made to the Trust .
- When a house on St Mary’s Island is being sold, the Buyer has to enter into a new deed with the Trust, called a Deed of Covenant. The Buyer’s conveyancer prepares the Deed of Covenant, has it signed by the Buyer and delivers it to the Trust as part of the transaction together with the appropriate fee.
- When the Trust receives the Deed of Covenant it checks that the rentcharge is paid up to date, and that there are no outstanding breaches of obligations on the part of the seller. Assuming all is in order the Trust will then issue a certificate, called a ‘Certificate of Compliance’.
- The Land Registry cannot register the Buyer’s title to the house without receiving the Certificate of Compliance. Similarly, the Seller is not released from the obligations under the original Rentcharge Deed (eg to pay the rentcharge) until the Buyer completes the new Deed of Covenant. It is therefore vitally important to both Buyer and Seller that this part of the transaction is properly completed.
- These arrangements also apply where a sale is taking place between joint owners (for example if a couple owning the property are separating, and one is buying the other out). The buying partner must complete the Deed of Covenant, so that the other partner can be released from his/her obligation under the original Rentcharge Deed.
- Similar arrangements apply where a charge is against the house is being created, for example if a new mortgage is taken out. A Certificate of Compliance is again required, but in this case there is no need for a new Deed of Covenant, as the owner of the house remains unchanged.
- These arrangements apply to houses, not flats.
- Your conveyancer will be able to advise you on these matters if you need more detail. When instructing your conveyancer, it is a good idea to draw their attention to this website and in particular to the section headed ‘Information for Conveyancers’ that follows. That should help avoid delays and make your move proceed more smoothly.
- All houses on St Mary’s Island are subject to an estate rentcharge created under the Rentcharges Act 1997.
- The registered title of the house contains a Land Registry restriction so that that no disposition can be registered without production of a Certificate of Compliance from the Rentcharge Owner. The requirements for obtaining a Certificate of Compliance are set out below.
- On a sale, the Buyer has to enter into a Deed of Covenant with the Rentcharge Owner.The Rentcharge Owner in almost all circumstances will be Chatham Maritime Trust.
- The Rentcharge Owner in the original document may be English Partnerships (EP, also known as the Urban Regeneration Agency), or South East England Development Agency (SEEDA). EP / SEEDA were the landowners at the time of first sale, but will have assigned the Rentcharge Ownership to Chatham Maritime Trust within a year or so of the first purchase. Relatively recent first sales may still have SEEDA as the legal Rentcharge Owner, but it is still Chatham Maritime Trust who will deal with the Certificate of Compliance.
- The Rentcharge Deed may also specify that consent is needed from other parties – EP, HCA (formerly SEEDA) and one of the original housebuilders (Countryside, Redrow, or Barratts). Chatham Maritime Trust holds agency consent arrangements on behalf of all these organisations, and can issue the necessary Certificate of Compliance on behalf of all parties.
- All applications should therefore be made to Chatham Maritime Trust. To send applications to any other organisation may incur delays.
- The prescribed form for the Deed of Covenant is attached to the original deed (in the case of a house, the transfer) that created the rentcharge. The details in the Deed of Covenant will vary according to the developer who built the property so to ensure correctness this should be requested from Chatham Maritime Trust.
- Please complete the new Deed of Covenant carefully. An incorrectly completed form will not be accepted and will cause delay.
- Please forward the completed and signed Deed of Covenant to Chatham Maritime Trust, along with the appropriate fee. Cheques should be made out to Chatham Maritime Trust.
- Chatham Maritime Trust will issue a Certificate of Compliance when a properly completed Deed of Covenant is received, and provided there are no rentcharge arrears or other significant breaches of covenant. The home owner will be asked to complete a Breach of Covenant form.
- Where the transaction is a disposition not involving a change of ownership (eg a re-mortgage) a Certificate of Compliance will still be required, but a new Deed of Covenant will not be required. A smaller fee is payable.
- Enquiries prior to completion can be made to Chatham Maritime Trust. These will reveal whether there are rentcharge arrears, or any other obstacle to the issue of a Certificate of Compliance.
- The arrangements described above apply to houses. With flats or maisonettes the rentcharge is attached to the freehold of the block and no application to the Trust is necessary for the onward sale of a flat.
- Chatham Maritime Trust cannot offer any guidance on matters contained in individual leases of flats or maisonettes, and any enquiries on these (and on consents which may be required from the block freeholders) should be directed to the block freeholder or the management company for the block.
- A Management Pack is available charged at £10 for a hard copy. All the information contained therein is available on this website, i.e. details of Restrictive & Purchaser's Covenants, latest copy of the Trust's newsletter the 'Maritime Messenger' and general information.
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