Me and my partner are buying a 3 bedroom flat in Oakwood with a mortgage. We have a Oakwood conveyancer, but the mortgage company says he's not on their "panel". We have to appoint one of the bank panel firms or keep our Oakwood lawyer as well as pay for one of their panel lawyers to act for them. We regard this is unjust; is there anything we can do?
No, not really. The mortgage offered to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the bank’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 Oakwood conveyancing solicitor to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
Is there a reason why leasehold purchase conveyancing in Oakwood is more expensive?
Oakwood leasehold properties involve far more paperwork than a freehold purchase, and therefore takes more time to examine and advise upon.Conveyancing will involve the lease having to be checked which is usually a lengthy document, queries raised to ensure that the covenants and conditions have been observed. If it is a flat there will be a management company in existence and the accounts of this will need to be checked and enquiries raised to ensure it is operating efficiently and that all monies due have been paid by the Seller to the company and if not ensuring that money is paid up to date or the appropriate undertakings obtained.
My husband and I have arranged the release of further funds on our home loan from Lloyds as we want to carry out renovations to our home in Oakwood. Do we need to select a high street Oakwood solicitor on the Lloyds conveyancing panel to deal with the legals?
Lloyds do not ordinarily require a member of their conveyancing panel to deal with such a matter. If they do require any legal work then you would need to ensure that such a lawyer was on the Lloyds list.
We have agreed to purchase a house in Oakwood. A rare 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 follow the conveyancing instructions set out in Part 2 of UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for Barclays. The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Handbook includes minimum specifications for solar panel roof-space leases, and property lawyers are required to report to Barclays where a lease does not comply with these requirements. The requirements relate to the installation of panels on properties nationwide and is not restricted to Oakwood.
I currently have a mortgage with Barclays for my property in Oakwood. Conveyancing was finalised months ago. If I am intending to rent out my property and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a buy-to-let mortgage or inform Barclays?
You must advise Barclays in advance of renting your property as this is likely to be a breach of Barclays’s mortgage conditions. It may be that Barclays 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 Barclays directly. It should not be necessary to do this via a Barclays conveyancing panel firm.
Are there restrictive covenants that are commonly picked up as part of conveyancing in Oakwood?
Covenants that are restrictive in nature can be picked up when reviewing land registry title as part of the legal transfer of property in Oakwood. An 1874 stipulation that was seen was ‘The houses to be erected on the estate are each to be of a uniform elevation in accordance with the drawings to be prepared or approved by the vendor’s surveyor…’
Taking into account that I will soon spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on a terraced house in Oakwood I would like to talk to a lawyer regarding thetransaction prior to giving the go ahead to the firm. Can this be arranged?
Absolutely - it is our preference to talk to you we do not take any clients on without you first talking to the lawyer due to be conducting your property ownership legalities in Oakwood.There is no ‘factory style conveyancing’ - each client is unique individual, not a file reference. The practices that we put you in touch with believe that the fees you are provided with for your conveyancing in Oakwood should be the figure that you end up paying.
What makes a Oakwood lease unacceptable for security purposes?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Oakwood. Most leases are drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.
Oakwood Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Queries before Purchasing
It would be wise to enquire if the the lease includes any adverse restrictions in the lease. For example it is fairly common in Oakwood leases that pets are not allowed in certain buildings in Oakwood. If you love the apartmentin Oakwood yet your dog can’t live with you then you will be presented with a difficult determination. Is the freehold owned collectively by the leaseholders? It is important to be aware if changing the roof or some other major work is pending that will be shared by the leasehold owners and could well materially increase the the maintenance fees or require a specific payment.