Frequently asked questions relating to Roath leasehold conveyancing
I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Roath.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Roath. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Roath ?
Most houses in Roath are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Roath so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Roath conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
I am looking at a couple of apartments in Roath which have in the region of fifty years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Roath is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 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 Roath 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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 property in Roath. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. It is an essential part 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).
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Roath where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Roath conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start 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 prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
I purchased a ground floor flat in Roath, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Corresponding flats in Roath with an extended lease are worth £257,000. The ground rent is £60 invoiced annually. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2091
With 70 years left to run the likely cost is going to range between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as costs.
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 comprehensive investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.