I am in the process of selling my flat in Leaves Green and the estate agent has just e-mailed to say that the purchasers are appointing a new conveyancer. I am told that this is due to the fact that the bank will only engage with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a leading mortgage company only work with specific law firms rather the firm that they want to select for their conveyancing in Leaves Green ?
Mortgage companies have always had panels of law firms that can represent them, but in the last few years big names such as Santander, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have acted for them for more than 25 years.
Lenders point to the increase in fraud by way of justification for the cull – 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 unlikely to have any sway in the decision.
My lawyer has identified a a problem with the lease for the flat we are buying in Leaves Green. The seller’s lawyers have put forward title insurance as a workaround. We are content with insurance and will pay for it. Our property lawyer says that he must check that the bank is willing to move forward with this solution. Who is the client here, us or the lender?
Even though you have a mortgage offer from the mortgage company does not mean to say that the property will meet their specifications for the purposes of a mortgage. Your lawyer has to ensure that the lease has to comply with the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook specifications. You and the lender are the client. The appropriate lender conditions have to be complied with.
What does my ID and proof of funds have anything to do with my conveyancing in Leaves Green? What am I being asked for?
Leaves Green conveyancing solicitors as well as nationwide property practitioners accross the UK have a duty under money laundering regulations to verify the ID of any client in order to satisfy themselves that clients are who they say they are.
Conveyancing clients are required to produce two forms of certified identification; proof of ID (typically a Passport or Driving Licence) and proof of address (usually a Utility Bill less than 3 months old).
Confirmation of source of funds is also necessary under the money laundering laws as solicitors have a duty to check that the funds you are using to acquire a property (whether it be the deposit for exchange or the full purchase price where you are a cash purchaser) has come from an acceptable source (such as an inheritance) as opposed to the fruits of illegitimate behaviour.
How does conveyancing in Leaves Green differ for newly converted properties?
Most buyers of new build or newly converted property in Leaves Green come to us having been asked by the seller to exchange contracts and commit to the purchase even before the residence is completed. This is because new home sellers in Leaves Green tend to acquire the land, 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 conveyancing solicitors 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 accustomed to new build conveyancing in Leaves Green or who has acted in the same development.
Last September I purchased a leasehold property in Leaves Green. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
Having spent months of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Leaves Green. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Leaves Green conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Leaves Green premises is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case affected 1 flat. The number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 50.57 years.
I have selected a Leaves Green conveyancing solicitor for our house purchase (FTB’s) and have spotted in the terms and conditions that they are not regulated by the FCA. Should I be worried or is that usually the case with property lawyer?
We can't see why they should be. Most conveyancing practitioner don't lend money. You should check that they are regulated by the SRA, who dictate stringent conditions in relation to amounts held by them.