Me and my fiance are buying a 1 bedroom apartment in London with a mortgage. We like our London lawyer, however the mortgage company advise he's not on their "panel". We have to appoint one of the mortgage company panel conveyancing practices or continue with our London property lawyer and pay for one of their panel ones to act for them. We feel that this is unjust; is there anything we can do?
No, not really. Your mortgage offer 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. Another option that might be available is for your London conveyancing lawyer to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
IfI was to purchase a freehold propertyin London mortgage fee and have no survey and no conveyancing searches how much should I expect to to save on my conveyancing in London?
The only reduction in fees you would achieve is the London conveyancing searches. The lawyer still be obliged to do everything else - money laundering, correspond with your vendors conveyancer, SDLT submission, register the title etc. A marginal saving might be made by not having to register a charge however it won't be meaningful.
Will commercial conveyancing searches reveal planned roadworks that could affect a commercial site in London?
Many commercial conveyancing solicitors in London will conduct a SiteSolutions Highways report as it dramatically cuts the time that conveyancers expend in looking into accurate data on highways that impact buildings and development assets in London. The report provides definitive information on the adoption status of roads, footpaths and verges, as well as the implication of traffic schemes and the rights of way surrounding a commercial development sites in London.
For each commercial conveyancing transaction in London it is crucial to investigate the adoption status of roads surrounding a site. The absence of identifying developments where adoption procedures have not been addressed adequately may result in delays to London commercial conveyancing deals as well as pose a risk to future plans for the site. These searches are not conducted for residential conveyancing in London.
Despite weeks of looking the Title Certificate and documents to our home can not be found. The solicitors who dealt with the conveyancing in London 10 years ago no longer exist. What do I do?
Assuming you have a registered title the details of your ownership will be evidenced by the Land Registry with a Title Number. It is possible to conduct a search at the Land Registry, locate your house and get current copies of the property title for less than a fiver. If the property is Leasehold then the Land Registry will also normally hold a certified copy of the Registered Lease and again, a copy can be ordered for twenty pounds.
How does conveyancing in London differ for newly converted properties?
Most buyers of new build or newly converted property in London come to us having been asked by the housebuilder to sign contracts and commit to the purchase even before the premises is finished. This is because builders in London usually purchase the real estate, 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 conveyancers 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 used to new build conveyancing in London or who has acted in the same development.
I am looking for a leasehold apartment up to £305k and identified one round the corner in London I like with amenity areas and railway links in the vicinity, the downside is that it only has 49 years unexpired on the lease. I can't really find anything else in London in this price bracket, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error purchasing a lease with such few years left?
If you require a home loan the remaining unexpired lease term will be a potential deal breaker. Reduce the price by the amount the lease extension will cost if not already taken into account. If the current owner has owned the premises for at least 2 years you could 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 with a zero ground rent applied. You should consult your conveyancing solicitor regarding this matter.