Recently asked questions relating to Hengoed leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Hengoed. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Hengoed - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
Jane (my partner) and I may need to rent out our Hengoed ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Hengoed conveyancing practice in 2002 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease permits subletting. How do we find out?
Notwithstanding that your last Hengoed conveyancing lawyer is not available you can review your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the property. The rule is that if the lease is non-specific, subletting is allowed. There may be a precondition that you must seek consent via your landlord or other appropriate person before subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior permission. The consent is not allowed to be unreasonably turned down. If your lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.
Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold house in Hengoed. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Hengoed who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Hengoed conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am looking at a two flats in Hengoed which have approximately fifty years remaining on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Hengoed is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. For most buyers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Hengoed conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Hengoed. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. A critical element 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).
Leasehold Conveyancing in Hengoed - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing
Where a Hengoed lease has less than 80 years it will affect the salability of the property. Check with your mortgage company that they are willing to to proceed given the lease term. Leases with less than 80 years remaining means that you will probably have to extend the lease sooner rather than later and it is worth discovering how much this would cost. Remember, in most cases you will need to own the premises for two years before you are eligible to extend the lease.
In the main the cost for major works tend not to be included within service charges, albeit that there some managing agents in Hengoed require leaseholders to contribute towards a sinking fund and this is used to offset against major repairs or maintenance.
Many Hengoed leasehold properties will have a service bill for maintenance of the block levied by the management company. Should you acquire the apartment you will have to meet this contribution, usually in instalments accross the year. This could differ from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for bigger purpose-built buildings. There will also be a rentcharge for you to pay annual, this is usually not a large figure, say about £25-£75 but you should to enquire as occasionally it can be many hundreds of pounds.