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Questions and Answers: Llanelli leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Llanelli. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Llanelli - 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.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Llanelli. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Llanelli ?

The majority of houses in Llanelli are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Llanelli in which case you should be shopping around for a Llanelli conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Llanelli with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Llanelli can be avoided if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Llanelli state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. If you fail to have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer in advance.
  • Some Llanelli leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your solicitors. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is below 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • We expect to complete our sale of a £175000 apartment in Llanelli next week. The landlords agents has quoted £336 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 Llanelli?

    Llanelli conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally involves the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

    What makes a Llanelli lease defective?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Llanelli. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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

    You may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, Coventry Building Society, and Britannia all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Llanelli Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Queries before Purchasing

      How much is the maintenance charge and ground rent on the apartment? You should want to discover as much as you can concerning the managing agents as they can either make life much simpler or much more difficult. Being a leasehold owner you are frequently in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to day to day matters like the cleanliness of the common parts. Ask prospective neighbours what they think of their service. On a final note, be sure you know the dates that the maintenance fees are due to the relevant party and precisely what you get for your money. Best to be warned whether window replacement or some other major work is due shortly that will be shared between the tenants and could well dramatically impact the level of the maintenance costs or require a one off invoice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Llanelli