My wife and I are looking to acquire a property in Christchurch and are in fact using a Christchurch conveyancing practice. Within the last couple of days our lawyer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with the expectation that exchange is imminent. Aldermore have this morning contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our Christchurch solicitor is not on their approved list of lawyers. Is this a problem?
If you are buying a property with the assistance of a mortgage it is standard for the purchasers' lawyers to also represent the purchaser's lender. 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 Quality Scheme. Your property lawyer should contact your lender and see if they can apply for membership of their conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable they will instruct their own lawyers to represent them. You don't have to instruct a firm on the lender’s conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own Christchurch solicitors, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it will likely delay the transaction as you have another set of people involved.
Can I use your services to find a Conveyancing solicitor in Christchurch even where I’m not purchasing or disposing of a house, for example where I wish to buy a shop in Christchurch with a mortgage from TSB?
Our comparison service is primarily used to help choose domestic conveyancing solicitors in Christchurch but we have recorded at the bottom of this page a few Christchurch commercial conveyancing firms. You will need to speak with the solicitors directly to establish if they can also act for TSB
Is it correct that all Christchurch CQS (Conveyancing Quality Scheme) solicitors are on the Coventry BS conveyancing panel?
It is true that some banks and building societies now make use of the accreditation scheme as the starting point for Panel membership such as HSBC and Santander. The Law Society’s CQS accreditation however is no guarantee to lender panel acceptance. That being said,the CML have indicated that it is likely to become a pre-requisite for solicitors wishing to join their approved list of conveyancing solicitors.
My partner and I are spending time looking at houses in Christchurch and I am about to put in an offer. Is it best to have my conveyancing practitioner on ‘stand by’? I will be getting a home loan with Coventry BS.
It would be wise to commence your search sooner rather than later. After you have chosen your lawyer and once your offer is accepted you can instruct them to work for you and forward their details on to the estate agent. Given that you are obtaining a mortgage with Coventry BS, make sure you remember to check that your lawyer is on the Coventry BS conveyancing panel.
Coventry BS have agreed my home loan in principle, my bid on a apartment in Christchurch has been accepted, what are the next steps?
The estate agent will want to know who your solicitors are (ensure that the conveyancing practitioners are on the bank’s approved list). Call up Coventry BS or your broker and complete any appropriate documentation. Coventry BS will sellect a valuer who will get in contact with the estate agent or vendor to schedule a time for the valuation to occur. Once carried out (assuming no problems) it takes approximately ten days for the mortgage offer to be issued. Coventry BS will send the offer to you and your conveyancers. The legal work will then take it’s course according the nature and complexity of the conveyancing in Christchurch.
A relative advised me that if I am purchasing in Christchurch I should carry out a Neighbourhood, Planning and Local Amenity Search. What does it cover?
A search of this type is usually included in the estimate for your Christchurch conveyancing searches. It is not a small report of about 40 pages, listing and setting out significant information about Christchurch around the property and the people living there. It includes an Aerial Photograph, Planning Applications, Land Use, Mobile Phone Masts, Rights of Way, the local Housing Market, Council Tax Banding, the type of People living in the area, the dominant type of Housing, the Average House Prices, Crime statistics, Local Education with maps and statistics, Local Amenities and other useful information concerning Christchurch.
Is it best to go with a Christchurch conveyancing solicitor based in the location that I am hoping to buy? We have a good friend who can perform the conveyancing however her office is 300miles away.
The primary upside of using a local Christchurch conveyancing firm is that you can visit the firm to execute paperwork, hand in your ID and pester them where appropriate. They will also have local intelligence which is a bonus. That being said nothing is more important than finding someone that will pull out all the stops for you. If you know people who used your friend and the majority were impressed that must surpass using an unknown Christchurch conveyancing solicitor just because they are round the corner.
I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Christchurch. Conveyancing has not commenced, but I have just had a half-yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is clear the service charge as you normally would as all rents and service invoices should be allotted on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the purchaser for the period running from after the completion date to the subsequent invoice date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Christchurch - Sample of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
Be sure to discover if there are any onerous prohibitions in the lease. For example plenty of leases prohibit pets being allowed in in a block in Christchurch. If you like the apartmentin Christchurch yet your cat is not allowed to live with you then you will be faced hard choice. Who takes responsibility for maintaining and repairing the building? It is important to be aware if window replacement or some other significant cost is due in the near future to be shared by the leasehold owners and may well dramatically increase the the maintenance costs or require a one time payment.