My husband and I are looking to purchase a home in Soho and are in fact using a Soho conveyancing practice. Within the last couple of days our solicitor has forwarded the sale agreement to be signed with a detailed report with a view to exchanging next week. Nottingham Building Society have this morning contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our Soho conveyancer is not on their approved list of lawyers. Is this a problem?
Where you are buying a property needing a mortgage it is standard for the purchasers' solicitors 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 Accreditation Scheme. Your property lawyer should contact your mortgage company 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 and you may continue to use your own Soho solicitors, in which case it will likely add costs, and it may delay matters as you are adding another lawyer into the mix.
Is it the case that all Soho solicitor practices on the Co-operative conveyancing panel are overseen by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority?
As a firm of solicitors, in order to be on the Co-operative conveyancing panel they would need to be regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. The majority of banks do permit licenced conveyancers on their panel and in that case the organisation would be regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers.
I'm in the process of viewing apartments in Soho and I am about to put in an offer. Should I already have a solicitor appointed at this point? I will be getting a mortgage with Leeds Building Society.
You should start requesting conveyancing quotes from solicitors ASAP. Once you decide who you want to use and once your offer is accepted you can instruct them to work for you and pass their contact information on to the EA. Given that you are getting a mortgage with Leeds Building Society, ask your prospective lawyers if they are on the Leeds Building Society conveyancing panel otherwise they can't do the mortgage legal work.
Our sealed bid on a property in Soho has been accepted, the vendors do nevertheless have a dependent purchase. The vendors have placed an offer on on an apartment, however it’s not yet tied up, and have viewings of other flats in the pipeline. I have instructed a bricks and mortar conveyancing solicitor in Soho. What should be my next step? At what point should I apply for the mortgage with Barclays?
It is usual to have concerns where there is a chain as you are unlikely to want to be too out of pocket too early (mortgage application is approx one thousand pounds, then survey, Soho conveyancing search charges, etc). First, you should check that your conveyancing practitioner is on the Barclays approved list. As to the next steps this very much dictated by the circumstances of your case, attraction to this property and on the state of the market. During a hot market many buyers will apply for the mortgage with Barclays and pay for the valuation and only if it was satisfactory would they pay their property lawyer to proceed with searches.
Are there restrictive covenants that are commonly picked up during conveyancing in Soho?
Covenants that are restrictive in nature can be picked up when reviewing land registry title as part of the legal transfer of property in Soho. 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…’
I am buying my first flat in Soho with a loan from Barclays . The sellers refused to reduce the amount so I negotiated £7000 of additionals instead. The property agent told me not inform my lawyer about the side-deal as it may put at risk my mortgage with Barclays . Is this normal?.
All lenders require a Disclosure of Incentives Form from the developer of any new build, converted or renovated property, It is available online from the Lenders’ Handbook page on the CML website. CML form is completed and handed to the lender's surveyor when the inspection is done.
Lenders have different policies on incentives. Some accept none at all, cash or physical, while others will accept cash incentives up to 5%.
Hard to understand why the representative of a builder would be suggesting you withold information from a solicitor when all this will be clearly visible on forms the builder has to supply to its solicitor, the buyer's solicitor and the surveyor.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Soho conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Soho conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggest that you talk with several firms including non Soho conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. The following questions might be useful:
What are the legal fees for lease extension work? If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
I am the proprietor of a basement flat in Soho. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?
if there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the sum to be paid.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Soho residence 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 remaining number of years on the lease was 73.26 years.
I am not able to get to my Soho conveyancing practitioners office to sign documents connected to my conveyancing in Soho – is this a problem?
No. Soho conveyancing lawyers can conduct home moves for clients from a distance. It is not necessary for you to be able to be present a Soho conveyancers office. They can undertake all communications via post, email, telephone and fax.