Last November we completed a house move in Twickenham. We have noticed several issues with the house which we believe were overlooked in the conveyancing searches. What action can we take? Can you clarify the nature of searches that needed to have been ordered for conveyancing in Twickenham?
The query is not clear as what problems have arisen and if they are specific to conveyancing in Twickenham. Conveyancing searches and investigations undertaken during the buying process are supposed to help avoid problems. As part of the process, a seller fills in a questionnaire known as a Seller’s Property Information Form. answers is incorrect, you could possibly take legal action against the owner 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 Twickenham.
I am currently in the process of buying my council flat in Twickenham. I have a mortgage agreed with UBS. Conveyancing is new to me. Can I proceed without a solicitor easily? I think we can but we keep being told I should use one. Any advice?
It is not advisable to proceed with a house purchase without a solicitor. The council's solicitor are not acting for you. You need a solicitor for a number reasons. One of which is to verify what plans the Council have for repairs and refurbishment for the next five years. Many leaseholders have been stung for contributions of thousands of pounds. In any event, if you are getting a mortgage with UBS, you will need to appoint a solicitor on the UBS conveyancing panel.
After much negotiation I have agreed a price on a house in Twickenham. My mortgage broker pressured me to appoint their conveyancer. I paid an advanced payment of £225. A few days later, the lawyer contacted me to say that they were not on the Barclays conveyancing panel. Am I right in thinking that I should be due a refund?
You should be able to recover this from the law firm if they were not on the Barclays panel. They should have asked at the outset which lender you were obtaining a mortgage with. An important lesson to readers of this site is to check that the lawyers are on the appropriate lender panel.
Having read lots of house buying guides, I note that it is considered advisable to get your house surveyed prior to buying it. When I asked my local Twickenham solicitor - who is on the Nottingham conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. Is that normal?
Nottingham will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Nottingham will appoint their own surveyor to do this, and you will have to pay for it. Remember that this is a valuation for mortgage purposes and not a survey. Your lawyer will not organise the survey but they may be able to put you in touch with a local one that they recommend. RICS offers a find a surveyor service (just google it) where you can search for a qualified surveyor by your Twickenham postcode. As you are getting a mortgage with Nottingham, you could contact them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors in Twickenham.
How does conveyancing in Twickenham differ for new build properties?
Most buyers of new build or newly converted property in Twickenham approach us having been asked by the developer to exchange contracts and commit to the purchase even before the house is ready to move into. This is because builders in Twickenham tend to buy the land, 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 property lawyers 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 accustomed to new build conveyancing in Twickenham 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 Twickenham I like with a park and railway links nearby, however it's only got 49 remaining years left on the lease. I can't really find anything else in Twickenham suitable, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error buying a lease with such few years left?
Should you require a home loan the shortness of the lease will be problematic. Discount the offer by the amount the lease extension will cost if not already taken into account. If the current proprietor has owned the premises for at least twenty four months you may request that they start the process of the extension and then assign it to you. You can add 90 years to the current lease with a zero ground rent applied. You should speak to your conveyancing lawyer about this.
I have been advised by a few property agents in Twickenham to choose a conveyancer using your seach tool. Is there a financial upside for Estate Agents to promote your lawyers rather than another?
We don’t make any commission for sending work our way. We found it would be just too difficult a fee as home movers will think, ‘How come the agent getting a kickback? Why am I not getting any benefit too?’ So we decided to step away from that.
I have read on various consumer advice websites that when selecting a conveyancing lawyer they need approved by your bank. I am first time buyer with but I have an AIP via Birmingham Midhshires and I already have a high street conveyancing solicitor in Twickenham in place. Does Halifax insist on an approved lawyer to be used? If so, where do I find that list so I can choose a conveyancing lawyer in Twickenham?
You should choose a solicitor that is on the Halifax panel. Just ring your preferred Twickenham conveyancing lawyer to check if they are on the Halifax panel. If they are not on the panel you have a couple of choices available to you here:
- Carry on with your chosen Twickenham property lawyer but Halifax will undoubtedly retain a lawyer from their approved panel. This will result in additional cost and potential interruption.
- Choose a new property lawyer to act in the purchase, making sure they are on the Halifax conveyancing panel.
- Convince your property lawyer to do everything within their powers to get accepted on the Halifax panel of solicitors.