Top Five Questions relating to Cardiff Bay leasehold conveyancing
Back In 2007, I bought a leasehold house in Cardiff Bay. Conveyancing and The Royal Bank of Scotland mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Cardiff Bay who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Cardiff Bay conveyancing solicitor 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 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Cardiff Bay. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. 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 busy estate agent office in Cardiff Bay where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Cardiff Bay conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Cardiff Bay with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cardiff Bay can be avoided if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
- The majority freeholders or managing agents in Cardiff Bay levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Cardiff Bay.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Cardiff Bay what are the most frequent lease defects?
Leasehold conveyancing in Cardiff Bay is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- 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
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.
Cardiff Bay Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to buying
It is important to be aware if window replacement or some other major work is coming up to be shared amongst the leasehold owners and will materially impact the level of the service fees or necessitate a one time payment.
This information is helpful as a) areas can result in problems in the building as the common areas may begin to deteriorate where services remain unpaid b) if the leasehold owners have a dispute with the managing agents you will need to have complete disclosure
Who are the managing agents?