My fiance and I are planning to acquire a property in West Kensington and have instructed a West Kensington conveyancing firm. Within the last couple of days our solicitor has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with the expectation that exchange is imminent. Virgin Money have this morning contacted us to advise us that there is now an issue as our West Kensington lawyer 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 act for the mortgage company. 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 solicitor 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 lawyers to represent them. You don't have to instruct a firm on the bank's conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own West Kensington solicitors, in which case it will likely add costs, and it will likely delay the transaction as you are adding another lawyer into the mix.
We were going to get a AIP from Clydesdale this week so we can work out what to offer on a property we like as otherwise we are dependent on web based calculators (which aren't taking into account credit checks etc). Do Clydesdale recommend any West Kensington solicitors on the Clydesdale conveyancing panel, or is it better to go independently?
You will need to appoint West Kensington solicitors independently although you'll need to choose one on the Clydesdale conveyancing panel. The solicitor represents both you and Clydesdale through the process.
I'm in the throws of looking at houses in West Kensington and I am now considering a potential offer. Is it premature to have a solicitor in place? I am planning to take a mortgage with Bank of Ireland.
It would be advisable to commence your search sooner rather than later. Once you decide who you want to use and once your offer is accepted you can instruct them to work for you and forward their contact information on to the EA. Given that you are getting a mortgage with Bank of Ireland, make sure you remember to check that your lawyer is on the Bank of Ireland conveyancing panel.
I am selling my apartment. I had a double glazing fitted in July 2010, but did not receive a FENSA certificate or Building Regulation Certificate. My purchaser’s mortgage company, RBS are being problematic. The West Kensington solicitor who is on the RBS conveyancing panel is happy to accept ‘lack of building regulation’ insurance but RBS are requiring a building regulation certificate. Why do RBS have a conveyancing panel if they don't accept advice from them?
It is probably the case that RBS have referred the matter to their valuer. The reason why RBS may not want to accept indemnity insurance is because it does not give them any reassurance that the double glazing was correctly and safely installed. The indemnity insurance merely protects against enforcement action which is very unlikely anyway.
I have been told that property searches are a common cause of delay in West Kensington house deals. Is this right?
The Council of Property Search Organisations (CoPSO) has noted the conclusions of a review by MoveWithUs that conveyancing searches do not feature amongst the common causes of delays in the conveyancing process. Local searches are unlikely to be the root cause of holding up conveyancing in West Kensington.
I have been on the look out for a flat up to £235,500 and identified one near me in West Kensington I like with amenity areas and transport links nearby, however it only has 61 years on the lease. There is not much else in West Kensington for this price, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error purchasing a lease with such few years left?
If you need a home loan that many years may be problematic. Reduce the price by the amount the lease extension will cost if it has not already been discounted. If the current owner has owned the premises for at least 2 years you can ask them to commence the lease extension formalities and pass it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the existing lease with a zero ground rent applied. You should consult your conveyancing lawyer about this matter.
Is it best to appoint a West Kensington conveyancing practitioner in close proximity to the house I am purchasing? I have an old university friend who can conduct the conveyancing however her office is approximately 350kilometers drive away.
The benefit of a local West Kensington conveyancing practice is that you can attend the office to execute documents, deliver your identification documents and pester them if necessary. Having local West Kensington know how is a benefit. That being said nothing is more important than finding someone that will pull out all the stops for you. If other friends have used your friend and they were happy that should trump using an unknown West Kensington conveyancing solicitor just because they are local.
I work for a long established estate agent office in West Kensington where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local West Kensington conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 purchaser.
Having spent months of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in West Kensington. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a West Kensington conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a West Kensington residence is 93 Oakwood Court in June 2010. the LVT determined that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £492,083, This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term as at the valuation date was 37.79 years.