My husband and I are buying a 1 bedroom flat in East Sussex with a mortgage. We have a East Sussex lawyer, however the bank advise he's not on their "panel". It appears that we have no option but to select one of the bank panel solicitors or retain our East Sussex conveyancer and pay for one of their panel firms to represent them. We feel that this is inequitable; is there anything we can do?
No, not really. The mortgage offered to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the lender’s conveyancing panel. Until recently, most lenders had large numbers of law firms on their panels: a borrower could choose one for themselves, as long as it was on the lender's panel. The lender would then simply instruct the borrower's lawyers to act for the lender, too. You can use your lender's panel lawyers or you could borrow from another lender which does not restrict your choice. A further alternative is for your East Sussex conveyancing solicitor to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
When it comes to lenders such as HSBC, do East Sussex conveyancing practitioners incur a yearly amount to be on the conveyancing panel?
We are unaware of any lender fees to be on their panel, although some do levy an administration charge to deal with the processing of the conveyancing panel application.
The formalities of my remortgage has taken place for my property in East Sussex. Conveyancing was satisfactory but I would like to complain about the lender. Who do I contact should I wish to lodge a complaint?
Most banks and building societies have complaints procedures. Your first port of call should be one of the lender’s branches or the Customer Services Department at head office. We understand that complaints to a lender are sorted out effectively and efficiently. However if you are not satisfied that the matter is not resolved you can write to Financial Ombudsman Service who will take matters further.
I recently had an offer agreed on a house in East Sussex. My financial adviser suggested a conveyancer. I paid an upfront payment of £200. Soon after, the conveyancing practitioner called me to say that they were not on the TSB 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 TSB 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.
Despite weeks of looking the Title Certificate and documents to my home can not be found. The lawyers who dealt with the conveyancing in East Sussex 4 years ago no longer exist. Will I be able to sell the house?
You no longer need to hold title official documentation to evidence that you are the owner of your registered land or premises, as the Land Registry have everything they need in a digital format.
I decided to have a survey done on a property in East Sussex before retaining solicitors. I have been informed that there is a flying freehold overhang to the property. My surveyor advised that some lenders may not give a mortgage on this type of property.
It depends who your proposed lender is. Santander has different instructions for example to Birmingham Midshires. If you e-mail us we can check via the appropriate bank. If you lender is happy to lend one our lawyers can assist as they are accustomed to dealing with flying freeholds in East Sussex. Conveyancing may be slightly more expensive based on your lender's requirements.
I am thinking of appointing a conveyancing solicitor in East Sussex for my house move. Is it possible to review a firm’s record with the profession’s regulator?
One can search for documented Solicitor Regulator Association (SRA) decisions stemming from investigations from 2008 onwards. Go to Check a solicitor's record. For details about the period before 1 January 2008, or to check a firm's record, call 0870 606 2555, 08.00 - 18.00 any week day save for Tuesday when lines open at 9.30am. International callers, dial +44 (0)121 329 6800. The regulator sometimes recorded call for training reasons.
We expect to complete our sale of a £150,000 flat in East Sussex in 8 days. The management company has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in East Sussex?
East Sussex conveyancing on leasehold apartments often requires the buyer’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries most will be content to do so. They may levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.
East Sussex Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries Prior to Purchasing
What is the service charge and ground rent on the property? If a East Sussex lease has fewer than 80 years it will have adverse implications on the value of the property. Check with your lender that they are willing to go ahead with the loan given the lease term. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will probably have to extend the lease at some point and you need to have some idea of how much this will be. For most East Sussexlease extensions you will need to own the residence for a couple of years before you are legally able to extend the lease. Is there a share of the freehold?