My wife and I are planning to buy a house in Hanworth and have appointed a Hanworth conveyancing practice. Within the last couple of days our property lawyer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. The Royal Bank of Scotland have this afternoon contacted us to inform me that they have now hit a problem as our Hanworth conveyancer is not on their approved list of lawyers. What do we do from here?
When purchasing a property with mortgage finance it is usual for the purchasers' solicitors to also act for 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 mortgage company 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 are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the lender’s conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own Hanworth solicitors, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it may delay matters as you have another set of people involved.
Will conveyancers request money up-front for my conveyancing in Hanworth?
Where you are retaining lawyers for conveyancing in Hanworth your lawyer will ask you put them with monies to cover the the cost of the conveyancing searches. Normally this is needed to cover the fees of the conveyancing searches. If any deposit is as part of the sale price then this should be needed immediately prior to exchange of contracts. The final balance that is needed should be sent to your lawyer shortly before completion.
I am purchasing a property in Hanworth. One unusual aspect is that the roof has a solar panel. Barclays have issued a mortgage offer so presumably this is not a concern to them. Why is my solicitor raising questions about the panel?
Given that you are obtaining a mortgage with Barclays your lawyer must comply with the conveyancing requirements contained in Part two of UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for Barclays. The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Handbook sets out minimum provisions for solar panel roof-space leases, and solicitors are required to report to Barclays where a lease fails to meet these conditions. The provisions relate to the installation of panels on properties in England and Wales and is not isolated to Hanworth.
The formalities of my purchase has taken place for my property in Hanworth. Conveyancing was of an acceptable standard but I would like to complain about the lender. How does one go about formally complaining?
Almost all banks and building societies have complaints procedures. Your first point of contact should be one of the lender’s branches or the Customer Services Team at head office. Ordinarily complaints to a lender are sorted out effectively and efficiently. If you feel the matter is not resolved you can write to Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR with full details of your complaint.
I was told two weeks ago that my mortgage has been agreed to by Co-operative. Is it usual for Co-operative to only issue the offer once my solicitor in Hanworth is approved on their conveyancing panel? Co-operative have asked my solicitor to see a copy of their Professional Indemnity Insurance Schedule.
Mortgage companies tend not to not issue a mortgage until they have details of a lawyer on their panel. It can take a few weeks for Co-operative to deal with your lawyer's application to be on the Co-operative conveyancing panel. There's no guarantee that your solicitor will be accepted.
Due to the advice of my in-laws I had a survey completed on a property in Hanworth prior to appointing conveyancers. I have been informed that there is a flying freehold element to the property. The surveyor has said that some banks may refuse to issue a mortgage on this type of premises.
It varies from the lender to lender. HSBC has different requirements for example to Birmingham Midshires. If you contact us we can check with the appropriate lender. If you lender is happy to lend one our lawyers can assist as they are accustomed to dealing with flying freeholds in Hanworth. Conveyancing will be smoother if you use a solicitor in Hanworth especially if they are accustomed to such properties in Hanworth.
I work for a long established estate agency in Hanworth where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Hanworth conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
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 can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Hanworth. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Hanworth premises is 147 Redford Close in June 2012. The Tribunal determined the lease extension premium to be at £4,200 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 82.93 years.
What can I do where I am unhappy with the lawyer who handled my conveyancing in Hanworth?
We live in an imperfect world, and is is a fact of life that every so often matters do not go as planned. That being said there is recourse where you were unhappy with your conveyancing in Hanworth. This varies from trying to resolve matters directly with them, through to reporting a property lawyer to their governing body. If things still aren’t sorted out you may consider enlisting the help of the Legal Ombudsman.