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Questions and Answers: Trefnant leasehold conveyancing

I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Trefnant.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

It best that you clear the invoice 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Trefnant. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Trefnant ?

The majority of houses in Trefnant are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Trefnant in which case you should be looking for a Trefnant conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.

I own a leasehold flat in Trefnant. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Trefnant who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Trefnant 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 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Trefnant where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Trefnant conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Trefnant from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Trefnant can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • Many landlords or managing agents in Trefnant charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Trefnant.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Trefnant state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring require a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place do not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer before hand.
  • A minority of Trefnant leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet 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 purchasers or their solicitors.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is 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 property on the market for sale.

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Trefnant - A selection of Questions you should ask before Purchasing

      Plenty Trefnant leasehold flats will be liable to pay a service charge for the upkeep of the building invoiced on behalf of the landlord. Where you purchase the flat you will have to meet this liability, usually in instalments during the year. This could differ from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large communal areas. In all probability there will be a rentcharge to be met yearly, ordinarily this is not a large figure, say about £50-£100 but you need to enquire it because on occasion it can be surprisingly expensive. What prohibitions are contained in the Trefnant Lease? You should be aware if it is no more than eighty years it will affect the value of the flat. It is worth checking with your mortgage company that they are content with the length of the lease. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will probably need a lease extension sooner rather than later and you need to have some idea of how much this will be. For most Trefnantlease extensions you will be be obliged to have been the owner of the residence for 24 months in order to be entitled to extend the lease.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Trefnant