Common questions relating to Dolwyddelan leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Dolwyddelan. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Dolwyddelan are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Dolwyddelan so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Dolwyddelan conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should advise you fully on all the issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Dolwyddelan. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. Strange as it may seem, 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 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 long established estate agent office in Dolwyddelan where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Dolwyddelan conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence 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 sit tight for 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 at the same time as 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 advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Dolwyddelan conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Dolwyddelan 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 two or three firms including non Dolwyddelan conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £325000 flat in Dolwyddelan in just under a week. The management company has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Dolwyddelan?
Dolwyddelan conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not requires the buyer’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it exceeds £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I purchased a 1st floor flat in Dolwyddelan, conveyancing having been completed 2002. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Comparable properties in Dolwyddelan with over 90 years remaining are worth £190,000. The ground rent is £60 invoiced annually. The lease finishes on 21st October 2077
With 56 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £29,500 and £34,000 as well as professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.