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Frequently asked questions relating to Adamsdown leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years unexpired on my flat in Adamsdown. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application 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 Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Adamsdown.

I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Adamsdown. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Adamsdown ?

Most houses in Adamsdown are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Adamsdown in which case you should be shopping around for a Adamsdown conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Adamsdown where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Adamsdown conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Adamsdown from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Adamsdown can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers representatives.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Adamsdown leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. Should you dont have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer first.
  • Some Adamsdown leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual 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 buyers 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 purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge 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 details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to ongoing.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is important 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 property on the market for sale.

  • When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Adamsdown what are the most common lease problems?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Adamsdown. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You will encounter 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. Yorkshire Building Society, Chelsea Building Society, and Britannia all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    I am the registered owner of a split level flat in Adamsdown, conveyancing formalities finalised 1997. How much will my lease extension cost? Comparable properties in Adamsdown with an extended lease are worth £254,000. The ground rent is £55 yearly. The lease expires on 21st October 2093

    With just 71 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £12,400 and £14,200 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Adamsdown