My wife and I are looking to purchase a flat in Chinatown and have appointed a Chinatown conveyancing practice. Within the last couple of days our solicitor has forwarded the sale agreement to be signed with a detailed report with a view to exchanging next week. The Mortgage Works have this afternoon contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our Chinatown conveyancer is not on their conveyancing panel. Please explain?
When purchasing a property with mortgage finance it is conventional for the purchasers' lawyers to also represent the mortgage company. In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Accreditation Scheme. Your property lawyer should contact your bank and see if they can apply for membership of their conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable they will instruct their own solicitors to act. You don't have to instruct a firm on the lender’s conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred Chinatown lawyers, in which case it will likely add costs, and it will likely delay the transaction as you are adding another lawyer into the mix.
Is it necessary to take out insurance to address the risk of chancel repairs when acquiring a residence in Chinatown?
Unless a previous acquisition of the property took place post 12 October 2013 you may assume that solicitors carrying out conveyancing in Chinatown to remain encouraging a chancel search and or chancel repair liability insurance.
It has been three months since my purchase conveyancing in Chinatown completed. I have checked the Land Registry website which shows that I paid £150,000 when infact I paid £180,000. Why the discrepancy?
The price paid figure is taken from the application to register the purchase. It is the figure included in the Transfer (the legal deed which transfers the premises from one person to the other) and referred to as the 'consideration' or purchase price. You can report an error in the price paid figure using the LR online form. In most cases errors result from typos so at first glance the figure. Do report it so they can double check and advise.
How does conveyancing in Chinatown differ for newly converted properties?
Most buyers of new build property in Chinatown contact us having been asked by the housebuilder to sign contracts and commit to the purchase even before the premises is completed. This is because developers in Chinatown typically acquire the real estate, plan the estate and want to get the plots sold off as they are building the properties. Buyers, therefore, will have to exchange contracts without actually seeing the house they are buying. To reduce the chances of losing the property, buyers should instruct conveyancers as soon as the property is reserved and mortgage applications should be submitted quickly. Due to the fact that it could be several months and even years between exchange of contracts and completion, the mortgage offer may need to be extended. It would be wise to use a lawyer who specialises in new build conveyancing especially if they are used to new build conveyancing in Chinatown or who has acted in the same development.
I have recently realised that I have 68 years left on my lease in Chinatown. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?
If you qualify, 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to try and locate and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Chinatown.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Chinatown conveyancing firm to represent me?
Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the price payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Chinatown property is 36 New Wanstead in August 2010. The Tribunal arrived at a valuation of the premium for the freehold of £22,359. This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired term as at the valuation date was 73.92 years.
Much to my surprise my solicitor in Chinatown has requested from me personal identification documents asserting that this forms part of his retainer as a solicitor on the bank Solicitor panel. This is news to me - can I refuse?
Anti-terror and anti-money-laundering rules require Chinatown conveyancing solicitors and licensed conveyancers to verify the identity of the person or body they are dealing with before they can accept their conveyancing business. The Terms and Conditions that you need to sign will no doubt confirm this. Your lawyer is right that the mortgage company also require certain documents to be viewed. If a you refuse to provide ID verification documents, your conveyancer would not be able to accept instructions from you. Your lawyer also has obligations to obtain certain documents in accordance with the bank's UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook requirements