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Questions and Answers: Adamsdown leasehold conveyancing

There are only Seventy years left on my flat in Adamsdown. I now wish to get lease extension 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Adamsdown.

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Adamsdown. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Adamsdown ?

Most houses in Adamsdown are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Adamsdown so you should seriously consider looking for a Adamsdown conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.

Back In 2008, I bought a leasehold flat in Adamsdown. Conveyancing and Nationwide Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Adamsdown who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Adamsdown conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Adamsdown conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Adamsdown conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Adamsdown conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What are the charges for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Adamsdown with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Adamsdown can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Adamsdown leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you fail to have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer before hand.
  • A minority of Adamsdown leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Adamsdown - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to buying

      The majority of Adamsdown leasehold properties will have a service bill for maintenance of the building set by the freeholder. Where you acquire the property you will have to meet this charge, normally periodically during the year. This may differ from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large communal areas. There will also be a rentcharge to be met yearly, this is usually not a large figure, say about £25-£75 but you need to check it because sometimes it can be surprisingly expensive. The answer will be important as a) areas can cause problems in the building as the common areas may begin to deteriorate where repairs are not paid for b) if the leaseholders have a dispute with the running of the building you will need to know about it How many years remain on the lease?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Adamsdown