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Llandudno leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I only have Sixty One years left on my flat in Llandudno. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent may be useful to try and locate and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Llandudno.

Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold house in Llandudno. Conveyancing and Barnsley Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Llandudno who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Llandudno conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I work for a long established estate agent office in Llandudno where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Llandudno conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, 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 buyer.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Llandudno with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Llandudno can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Llandudno charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Llandudno.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Llandudno leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. If you fail to have the consents to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a new share certificate can be a lengthy formality and slows down many a Llandudno home move. Where a reissued share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • All being well we will complete our sale of a £200000 maisonette in Llandudno next week. The managing agents has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Llandudno?

    Llandudno conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually requires the buyer’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They are entitled charge a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.

    I invested in buying a 1st floor flat in Llandudno, conveyancing was carried out 2008. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Equivalent flats in Llandudno with a long lease are worth £255,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 levied per year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2082

    With only 61 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £21,900 and £25,200 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Llandudno