Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Pentyrch:

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Questions and Answers: Pentyrch leasehold conveyancing

Jane (my partner) and I may need to let out our Pentyrch ground floor flat for a while due to a new job. We used a Pentyrch conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not think at the time seek any guidance as to whether the lease allows us to sublet. How do we find out?

A lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; in particular, it will set out if subletting is banned, or permitted but only subject to certain caveats. The rule is that if the lease contains no expres ban or restriction, subletting is allowed. Most leases in Pentyrch do not contain an absolute prevention of subletting – such a clause would adversely affect the market value the flat. In most cases there is simply a requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.

I only have 72 years remaining on my flat in Pentyrch. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?

If 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. On the whole a specialist may be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Pentyrch.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Pentyrch.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is pay the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am attracted to a couple of flats in Pentyrch which have about forty five years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are plenty of short leases in Pentyrch. The lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the saleability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field

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

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Pentyrch can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Pentyrch state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such changes. If you fail to have the consents to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor in advance.
  • A minority of Pentyrch leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where a dispute is ongoing. You may need to swallow your pride and pay 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 ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I own a ground floor flat in Pentyrch, conveyancing was carried out 3 years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Similar flats in Pentyrch with a long lease are worth £169,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease ends on 21st October 2089

    With 68 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to span between £10,500 and £12,000 plus professional fees.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Pentyrch