My fiance and I are looking to purchase a home in Soho and have appointed a Soho conveyancing practice. Within the last couple of days our solicitor has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with a view to exchanging next week. Bank of Ireland have this morning contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our Soho solicitor is not on their conveyancing panel. What do we do from here?
When purchasing a property with mortgage finance it is normal for the purchasers' lawyers to also represent the purchaser's lender. In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. Your solicitor should contact your lender and see if they can apply for membership of their conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable they will instruct their own solicitors to act. You don't have to instruct a firm on the lender’s conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred Soho lawyers, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it may delay matters as you have another set of people involved.
As someone not used to conveyancing in Soho what is the number one tip you can give me concerning the legal transfer of property in Soho
You may not hear this from too many lawyers but conveyancing in Soho and elsewhere in England and Wales is an adversarial process. Put another way, when it comes to conveyancing there is an abundance of room for confrontation between you and other parties involved in the transaction. For example, the seller, selling agent and on occasion a mortgage company. Selecting a solicitor for your conveyancing in Soho an important selection as your conveyancer is your adviser, and is the SOLE party in the transaction whose role it is to act in your best interests and to protect you.
Every so often a potential adversary may try and persuade you that it is in your interests to do things their way. For instance, the selling agent may claim to be helping by suggesting your conveyancer is slow. Or your mortgage broker may try to convince you to do something that is contrary to your conveyancers recommendation. You should always trust your lawyer above all other parties when it comes to the legal transfer of property.
Should our solicitor be asking questions regarding flooding during the conveyancing in Soho.
The risk of flooding is if increasing concern for lawyers carrying out conveyancing in Soho. Plenty of people will purchase a house in Soho, completely aware that at some time, it may suffer from flooding. However, leaving to one side the physical damage, where a property is at risk of flooding, it may be difficult to get a mortgage, adequate building insurance, or dispose of the property. There are steps that can be taken during the course of a house purchase to forewarn the buyer.
Solicitors are not best placed to give advice on flood risk, but there are a various checks that can be initiated by the purchaser or by their conveyancers which can figure out the risks in Soho. The conventional set of information sent to a purchaser’s solicitor (where the solicitors are adopting what is known as the Conveyancing Protocol) incorporates a standard question of the owner to determine if the premises has suffered from flooding. If flooding has previously occurred and is not notified by the seller, then a purchaser could issue a legal claim for losses as a result of such an misleading answer. The buyer’s lawyers may also conduct an enviro report. This should reveal whether there is any known flood risk. If so, additional inquiries will need to be carried out.
Am I right to be concerned by brokers that I am dealing with are recommending an online conveyancing firm rather than a High Street Soho conveyancing practice?
As is the case with lots of professional services, often recommendations from family and friends can be extremely useful or valuable. But there are lots of players in a conveyancing matter; estate agents, mortgage brokers and banks might all recommend conveyancers to use. On occasion these conveyancers might be known to one of the organisations as being good in their field, but sometimes there behind the scenes commercial relationship behind the endorsement. You have the discretion to choose your preferred lawyer. You need to be aware that some mortgage providers have an approved list of solicitors you must use for the mortgage related work in your house move.
My uncle has urged me to instruct his conveyancers in Soho. Should I find my own solicitor?
There are no two ways about it the best way to select a conveyancing solicitor is to get referrals from friends or family who have actually experience in using the conveyancer you're are thinking of instructing.
I work for a busy estate agency in Soho where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Soho conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
Following years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Soho. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to make a decision on the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Soho flat is 20 Avonwick Road in July 2013. The Tribunal was dealing with an application under Section 26 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 for a determination of the freehold value of the property. It was concluded that the price to be paid was Fifteen Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy (£15,970) divided as to £8,200 for Flat 20 and £7,770 for Flat 20A This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 73.26 years.