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Top Five Questions relating to Abercarn leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have 72 years left on my lease in Abercarn. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the freeholder. In some cases a specialist would be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Abercarn.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in Abercarn.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Abercarn from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Abercarn can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Abercarn levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Abercarn.
  • A minority of Abercarn leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming process and delays many a Abercarn conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £400000 maisonette in Abercarn in nine days. The freeholder has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Abercarn?

    Abercarn conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions most will be willing to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Abercarn what are the most frequent lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Abercarn. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Skipton Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

    Abercarn Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should consider before buying

      For many Abercarn leaseholds the cost for major works are not included within maintenance charges, although there some managing agents in Abercarn ask leaseholders to pay into a sinking fund created for the specific intention of building a fund for larger works. Make sure you investigate if the the lease includes any unreasonable restrictions in the lease. For instance it is very common in Abercarn leases that pets are not allowed in in a block in Abercarn. If you like the flatin Abercarn however your cat is not allowed to make the move with you then you have a very difficult determination. Is the freehold owned collectively by the leaseholders?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Abercarn