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Top Five Questions relating to Ruthin leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my garden flat in Ruthin.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should discharge 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 managing agents 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 own a leasehold house in Ruthin. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Ruthin who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Ruthin conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Ruthin. 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 lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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).

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Ruthin from the perspective of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Ruthin can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Ruthin charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. 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 Ruthin.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Ruthin state that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • A minority of Ruthin leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand 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 buyers or their lawyers.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • We expect to complete the disposal of our £325000 apartment in Ruthin next Friday . The freeholder has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Ruthin?

    For most leasehold sales in Ruthin conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Completing pre-contract questions
    • Where consent is required before sale in Ruthin
    • Supplying insurance information
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your conveyancer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Ruthin leasehold premises is £350. For Ruthin conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to provide answers.

    Leasehold Conveyancing in Ruthin - Examples of Queries before Purchasing

      Can you tell me if there are any major works in the near future that could increase the service charges? How much is the ground rent and service charge? Is the freehold reversion owned collectively by the tenants?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Ruthin