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Abergele leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I’m about to sell my basement flat in Abergele.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge the invoice 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 managing agents 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.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Abergele. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Abergele who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Abergele conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Abergele. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Abergele where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Abergele conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Abergele with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Abergele can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
  • The majority freeholders or managing agents in Abergele charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Abergele.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Abergele leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such works. If you fail to have the paperwork to hand do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer before hand.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Abergele home move. Where a new share is required, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider 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.

  • Abergele Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should ask before buying

      This information is helpful as a) areas may result in problems in the building as the common areas may begin to deteriorate if services remain unpaid b) if the leaseholders have a dispute with the managing agents you will want to have full disclosure What is the length of the lease? How is the lease structured?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Abergele