Is the fact that my solicitor in Battersea is not on my bank's solicitor panel that there is a problem with the standard of the firm’s work?
That is most likely a wrong assumption to make. There are all sorts of perfectly reasonable explanations. Just recently a report by the solicitors regulator indicated that over three quarters of law firms surveyed had been removed from at least one lender panel. The top 5 reasons are as follows: (1) lack of transactions (2) the lawyer is a sole practitioner (3) as part of the HSBC panel reduction (4) regulatory contact by SRA (5) accidental removal. Should you be concerned you should simply call the Battersea conveyancing firm and ask them why they are no longer on the approved list for your lender.
I am the registered owner of a freehold residence in Battersea but still invoiced for rent, why is this and what is this?
It’s unusual for properties in Battersea and has limited impact for conveyancing in Battersea but some freehold properties in England (particularly common in North West England) pay an annual sum known as a Chief Rent or a Rentcharge to a third party who has no other legal interest in the land.
Rentcharge payments are usually between £2.00 and £5.00 per year. Rentcharges date back many centuries, but the Rent Charge Act 1977 barred the generation of new rentcharges from 1977 onwards.
Previous rentcharges can now be extinguished by making a lump sum payment under the Act. Any rentcharges that are still in existence after 2037 will be dispensed with completely.
I have today made my last payment due on my mortgage with HSBC. I assume I don't need a Battersea lawyer on the HSBC panel to remove the mortgage at the Land Registry. Please confirm.
If you have finished paying off your HSBC mortgage, they may send you evidence showing that you have paid it off. Alternatively they may notify the Land Registry directly. The Land Registry need to see this evidence before they will remove the HSBC mortgage from the register. HSBC, and any evidence they send you, will determine the action you need to take. In cases where no conveyancer is acting for you and you have paid off your mortgage:
- but are not moving to another property
- where HSBC has sent the Land Registry the discharge electronically, and
- HSBC has instructed the Land Registry to do so
It is not clear whether my lender requires a lease extension. I have telephoned my Battersea building society branch on numerous occasions and was told it wasn't a problem and they would lend. My Battersea conveyancing solicitor - who is on the lender conveyancing panel- called and was told they refuse to lend in accordance with their specific requirements. I simply don't know who is right.
The conveyancer must comply with the CML Handbook Part 2 conditions for your lender. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that the lender will go ahead, your lawyer has no choice but to refrain from exchanging contract and committing you to the purchase. We would suggest that you ask the mortgage company to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the number of years remaining.
After months of negotiation I have agreed a price on a house in Battersea. My mortgage broker pressured me to appoint their property lawyer. I paid an advanced payment of £150. A couple of days later, the conveyancer contacted me embarrassingly acknowledging that they were not on the Bank of Ireland conveyancing panel. Am I right in thinking that I should be due a refund?
You should be able to recover this from the law firm if they were not on the Bank of Ireland panel. They should have asked at the outset which lender you were obtaining a mortgage with. An important lesson to readers of this site is to check that the lawyers are on the appropriate lender panel.
I have been on the look out for a flat up to £305k and found one close by in Battersea I like with open areas and transport links in the vicinity, however it's only got 51 years unexpired on the lease. There is not much else in Battersea for this price, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error acquiring a lease with such few years left?
If you need a home loan the remaining unexpired lease term will likely be a potential deal breaker. Reduce the offer by the amount the lease extension will cost if not already taken into account. If the existing proprietor has owned the property for a minimum of twenty four months you could ask them to start the process of the extension and pass it to you. You can add 90 years to the current lease term with a zero ground rent applied. You should consult your conveyancing solicitor concerning this matter.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Battersea which have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena.
Having spent years of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Battersea. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Battersea property is 150A Albert Palace Mansions Lurline Gardens in July 2013. The Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the new lease of the subject property was £42,069 This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired residue of the current lease was 57.06 years.
I yesterday discovered that one of the partners of the firm handling the purchase conveyancing in Battersea is a relative of the vendor. Is this allowed?
Provided no conflict arises this is allowable. Where you are needing mortgage finance then the lender may have a say as many lenders have specific instructions on this. For example for RBS - Direct Line as of 21/3/2019, the requirements read as follows :