Top Five Questions relating to Colwyn Bay leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have Seventy years left on my lease in Colwyn Bay. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?
On the basis that 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Colwyn Bay.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Colwyn 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 owner 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).
I work for a reputable estate agency in Colwyn Bay where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Colwyn Bay conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is 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 prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Colwyn Bay conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Colwyn Bay conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Colwyn Bay conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £400000 apartment in Colwyn Bay in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Colwyn Bay?
Colwyn Bay conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often involves the purchaser’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions most will be content to assist. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.
I own a 2 bed flat in Colwyn Bay, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Colwyn Bay with an extended lease are worth £234,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 invoiced every year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2100
With just 80 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to provide a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.