I am progressing with the sale of my apartment in Hoxton and the estate agent has just telephoned to say that the purchasers are appointing a new law firm. The excuse is that the bank will only engage with solicitors on their conveyancing panel. Why would a big named lender only deal with certain law firms rather the firm that they want to appoint to handle their conveyancing in Hoxton ?
Lenders have always had panels of law firms that can represent them, but in recent years big names such as Lloyds Banking Group, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for over 25 years.
Lending institutions point to the increase in fraud by way of justification for the pruning – criteria have been tightened as a smaller panel is easier to monitor. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society says it is being contacted daily by practices that have been removed from panels. Some are unaware that they have been dropped until contacted by a borrower who has instructed them as might be the situation in your buyers' case. The purchasers are not going to have any sway in the decision.
How can we know in advance if a Hoxton conveyancing solicitor on the Aldermore panel is any good?
When it comes to conveyancing in Hoxton obtaining recommendations is a good start. Before you go ahead, check if they offer a no sale no fee offer. Also, you often get what you pay for - a firm which quotes more, will often provide a better service than one which is cheap as chips. We would always advise that you speak with the solicitor conducting your conveyancing.
My wife and I have arranged the release of further funds on our home loan from Nationwide as we wish to conduct a loft conversion to our property in Hoxton. Are we obliged to select a high street Hoxton solicitor on the Nationwide conveyancing panel to deal with the paperwork?
Nationwide would not normally appoint a member of their conveyancing panel to handle such a matter. If they do require any legal work then you would need to ensure that such a lawyer was on the Nationwide conveyancing panel.
The formalities of my remortgage has taken place for my property in Hoxton. Conveyancing was of an acceptable standard but I would like to complain about the lender. Who do I contact should I wish to lodge a complaint?
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 Department at head office. In most cases complaints to a lender are resolved effectively and efficiently. If you feel the matter is not resolved you can write to Financial Ombudsman Service with full details of your complaint.
I am selling our home in Hoxton and according to the buyers it appears that there is a risk of it being constructed land that was not decontaminated. Any high street Hoxton conveyancer would know this is not the case. It does beg the question why the buyers are using a nationwide conveyancing practice rather than a conveyancing solicitor in Hoxton. Having lived in Hoxton for 5 years we know that this is a non issue. Should we contact our local Authority to obtain clarification that the buyers are looking for.
It sounds as though you may have a conveyancing firm currently acting for you. What do they say? You should enquire of your lawyer before you do anything. It is very possible that once the local authority has been informed of a potential issue it cannot be insured against (a bit like being diagnosed with a serious illness and then taking out life insurance to cover that same ailment)
I am looking for a leasehold apartment up to £235,500 and identified one near me in Hoxton I like with open areas and transport links nearby, the downside is that it only has 49 years unexpired on the lease. There is not much else in Hoxton for this price, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error acquiring a lease with such few years left?
Should you need a mortgage the shortness of the lease will be an issue. Discount the offer by the expected lease extension will cost if it has not already been discounted. If the current owner has owned the premises for at least 2 years you can ask them to start the process of the extension and then assign it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the existing lease term with a zero ground rent applied. You should speak to your conveyancing lawyer concerning this matter.
I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Hoxton where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Hoxton conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Hoxton conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Hoxton conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Hoxton flat is 137 & 139 Haberdasher Street in December 2013. The Tribunal determines in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease for each Property should be £12,350.00. This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired residue of the current lease was 72.39 years.
I am purchasing a flat with all finances in place. I have provided solicitor with two distinct proof of photographic ID, bank statement, numerous utility bills. Now he requires a copy from a probate lawyer acknowledging that the money is in order and that it has come from inheritance and not selling fake DVD.
In today’s world you will not be able to complete any Hoxton conveyancing transaction without first providing evidence of your identity to your lawyers. This usually takes the form of a either your passport or driving licence and a utility bill. Remember if you are providing your driving licence as evidence of ID it must be both the paper part and photo card part, one is not acceptable without the other. Evidence of your source of funds is required under Money Laundering Regulations.