Leasehold Conveyancing in Cardiff Bay - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Questions and Answers: Cardiff Bay leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Cardiff Bay. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Cardiff Bay are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Cardiff Bay in which case you should be shopping around for a Cardiff Bay conveyancing practitioner 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. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should report to you on the legal implications.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Cardiff Bay both have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

A lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As the lease shortens the value of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is advisable to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Cardiff Bay. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before my ownership?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Cardiff Bay conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Cardiff Bay conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Cardiff Bay conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Cardiff Bay who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the charges for lease extension work?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Cardiff Bay with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cardiff Bay can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Cardiff Bay leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you fail to have the consents to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • A minority of Cardiff Bay leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled 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 need to swallow your pride 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Cardiff Bay Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Queries before Purchasing

      The best form of lease arrangement is if the freehold title is in the ownership of the leaseholders. In this arrangement the tenants benefit from being in charge if their destiny and even though a managing agent is frequently retained where it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves. How is the lease structured? If a Cardiff Bay lease has fewer than 80 years it will affect the value of the flat. It is worth checking with your bank that they are willing to lend given the lease term. A short lease means that you will most likely have to extend the lease at some point and you need to have some idea of what this would cost. For most Cardiff Baylease extensions you will be required to have been the owner of the residence for a couple of years in order to be entitled to carry out a lease extension.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Cardiff Bay