My solicitor has identified a a legal deficiency with the lease for the property we are buying in Lightwater. The seller’s lawyers have suggested title insurance as a solution. We are happy with insurance and will cover the costs. Our solicitor 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?
The short answer to your last question is that, notwithstanding the risk of a conflict of interest, you and the lender are the client. Your conveyancer must comply with the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook specifications. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook conditions require your lawyer to disclose issues such as defects with the lease so that the lender can be afforded the opportunity to check with their valuer as to the extent that the value of the property is affected. Should you refuse to allow your lawyer to make the appropriate notification then your conveyancer will have no choice but to discontinue acting for you.
Why is leasehold purchase conveyancing in Lightwater is more expensive?
The conveyancing charges on a leasehold premises in Lightwater is frequently higher than on a freehold property. This is due to the supplemental time required in communicating with the freeholder and managing agents to obtain evidence about whether the rent and maintenance fee have been discharged and whether there are any significant expenditure in the near future on repairs or maintenance of the building.
My property lawyer in Lightwater is not listed on the HSBC Bank Approved Panel. Is it possible for me to use my prefered solicitor even though they are not on the HSBC Bank panel of approved conveyancing solicitors?
Your options are as follows:
- Carry on with your preferred Lightwater solicitors but HSBC Bank will need to retain a conveyancer on their list of acceptable firms. This will inevitably rack up the overall conveyancing charges as well as result in frustration.
- Find a new lawyer to to deal with the conveyancing, obviously checking they are Convince your lawyer to do everything within their powers to join the HSBC Bank conveyancing panel
My wife and I have arranged the release of further monies on our home loan from Virgin Money as we want to carry out a loft conversion to our property in Lightwater. Are we obliged to select a nearby Lightwater solicitor on the Virgin Money conveyancing panel to handle the legals?
Virgin Money would not normally appoint firms on their approved list of lawyers to handle the formalities. If they do require any legal work then you would need to ensure that such a lawyer was on the Virgin Money list.
I have a mortgage with Santander for my property in Lightwater. Conveyancing has been completed months ago. In the event that I decide to rent out the flat and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a buy-to-let mortgage or inform Santander?
Your original mortgage agreement with Santander will provide that you need their approval before renting your property as this is likely to be a breach of Santander’s mortgage conditions. It may be that Santander will allow you to rent out your former home without needing to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage but some lenders will add a surcharge to your mortgage rate to reflect the higher risk. You should contact Santander directly. You need not do this via a Santander conveyancing panel lawyer.
Having read lots of house buying guides, I note that it is considered advisable to get your house surveyed prior to buying it. When I asked my local Lightwater solicitor - who is on the Bank of Ireland conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. is that correct?
Bank of Ireland will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Bank of Ireland will appoint their own surveyor to do this, and you will have to pay for it. Remember that this is a valuation for mortgage purposes and not a survey. Your property lawyer will not organise the survey but they may be able to put you in touch with a local one that they recommend. RICS offers a find a surveyor service (just google it) where you can search for a qualified surveyor by your Lightwater postcode. As you are getting a mortgage with Bank of Ireland, you could contact them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors in Lightwater.
My friend advised me that if I am purchasing in Lightwater I should ask my conveyancer to carry out a Neighbourhood, Planning and Local Amenity Search. Can you explain what the purpose of this search is?
This is a search is occasionally included in the estimate for your Lightwater conveyancing searches. It is a large report of more than thirty pages, listing and detailing significant information about Lightwater around the property and the people living there. It incorporates an Aerial Photograph, Planning Applications, Land Use, Mobile Phone Masts, Rights of Way, the local Housing Market, Council Tax Banding, the demographics of People living in the area, the dominant type of Housing, the Average Property Price, Crime statistics, Lightwater Education with plans and statistics, Local Amenities and other useful data about Lightwater.
I have been pointed in your direction by numerous estate agents in Lightwater to select a conveyancer on your site. Is there a financial upside for Estate Agents to offer your lawyers ahead of another?
We don’t give any commission for directing people in our direction. We found it would be just too difficult a fee as a client could think, ‘How come the agent getting a kickback? Why am I not getting any benefit too?’ We would prefer to grow our business on genuine recommendations.