My partner and I have lately acquired a property in Soho. We have noticed several issues with the property which we consider were overlooked in the conveyancing searches. Do we have any recourse? Can you clarify the type of searches that should have been carried out as part of conveyancing in Soho?
It is not clear from the question as what problems have arisen and if they are specific to conveyancing in Soho. Conveyancing searches and investigations initiated as part of the buying process are supposed to help avoid problems. As part of the process, a seller fills in a form called a SPIF. answers proves to be incorrect, you could possibly take legal action against the seller for any losses that you have suffered. The survey should have identified any problems with the structure of the property. Assuming a detailed survey was carried out and the issues were not identified, you may have a claim against the surveyor. However, if you did not have a full survey, you may be responsible for fixing any defects that have now been noted. We would always encourage buyers to take every possible step to ensure they are completely aware of the condition of a property before purchase regardless of whether they are buying in Soho.
We are selling our home in Soho. Will my conveyancing practitioner have to be required to be on the Aldermore conveyancing panel in order to deal with paying off my mortgage?
Ordinarily, even if your lawyer is not on the Aldermore conveyancing panel they can still act for you on your sale. It might be that the lender will not release the original deeds (if applicable and increasingly irrelevant) until after the mortgage is paid off. You should speak to your lawyer directly before you start the process though to ensure that there is no problem as lenders are changing their requirements fairly frequently at the moment.
A colleague suggested that if I am purchasing in Soho I should carry out a Neighbourhood, Planning and Local Amenity Search. What does it cover?
A search of this type is usually included in the estimate for your Soho conveyancing searches. It is not a small document of more than thirty pages, listing and detailing important information about Soho around the property and the people living there. It incorporates an Aerial Photograph, Planning Applications, Land Use, Mobile Phone Masts, Rights of Way, the Soho Housing Market, Council Tax Banding, the type of People living in the area, the dominant type of Housing, the Average Property Price, Crime details, Soho Education with plans and statistics, Local Amenities and other useful data about Soho.
Am I right to be wary about estate agents that I am dealing with are recommending a factory type conveyancing firm rather than a High Street Soho conveyancing company?
As with lots of professional services, often suggestions from relatives can be most helpful. But there are numerous people with a vested interest in a conveyancing deal; estate agents, mortgage brokers and lenders may put forward lawyers to appoint. On occasion the lawyers might be known to one of the organisations as one of the best in their field, but occasionally there might be a commercial relationship behind the endorsement. You are at liberty to select your own conveyancer. However, bear in mind that some banks operate an approved list of law firms you are obliged to use for the lender related work in your home move.
Am I better off to choose a Soho conveyancing practitioner in close proximity to the house I am buying? I have an old university friend who can handle the legal work however her office is approximately 350miles drive away.
The benefit of a high street Soho conveyancing firm is that you can pop in to sign documents, deliver your ID and apply pressure on them where appropriate. Having local Soho know how is a bonus. That being said it's more important to get someone that will do a good and efficient job. If other friends have instructed your friend and in the main were content that should surpass using an unfamiliar Soho conveyancing solicitor solely due to them being round the corner.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Soho conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Soho conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Soho conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. The following questions could be useful:
How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation? Can they put you in touch with clients in Soho who can give a testimonial?
After years of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Soho. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Soho conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Soho premises 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 residue of the current lease was 73.26 years.