I am not well enough to travel far from Westerham. Is there a reason why all Westerham solicitors are not on all bank panels?
Mortgage Companies normally impose restrictions on either the type or the number of conveyancing firms on their approved list of lawyers. A common example of such criteria being that a firm must have two or more partners. In addition to restricting the nature of firm, some banks decided to reduce the number of organisations they use to represent them. You should note that building societies have no accountability for the standard of service supplied by any Westerham property lawyer on their approved list. Mortgage fraud was the key driver in the reduction of solicitor panels in the last decade even though there are contrary views about the extent of solicitor involvement in some of that fraud. Data from the Land Registry exposes that thousands of conveyancing firms only transact less than three conveyances a year. Those supporting conveyancing panel pruning ask why conveyancing firms deserve claim to be listed on a bank panel when clearly conveyancing is not their primary expertise?
In reviewing mumsnet.com for a high-quality solicitor in Westerham, many say that I should use a CQS assured lawyer. What is CQS?
The Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme is the recognised kitemark for legal experts in buying or selling property, trusted by some of the UK's major lenders. In 2011-12 the Conveyancing Quality Scheme was officially recognised by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). The scheme does not cover licenced conveyancers. Westerham is one of the numerous areas in England and Wales where there are CQS lawyers.
A relative suggested that if I am purchasing in Westerham I should carry out a Neighbourhood, Planning and Local Amenity Search. Can you explain what the purpose of this search is?
A search of this type is sometimes included in the estimate for your Westerham conveyancing searches. It is not a small document of about 40 pages, listing and detailing significant information about Westerham around the property and the people living there. It includes an Aerial Photograph, Planning Applications, Land Use, Mobile Phone Masts, Rights of Way, the Westerham Housing Market, Council Tax Banding, the type of People living in the area, the dominant type of Housing, the Average Property Price, Crime statistics, Westerham Education with maps and statistics, Local Amenities and other useful information regarding Westerham.
How does conveyancing in Westerham differ for newly converted properties?
Most buyers of new build residence in Westerham approach us having been asked by the builder to sign contracts and commit to the purchase even before the property is ready to move into. This is because builders in Westerham typically buy the site, 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 conveyancing solicitors 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 Westerham or who has acted in the same development.
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Westerham where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Westerham conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as 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 buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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.
I invested in buying a basement flat in Westerham, conveyancing formalities finalised in 2007. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Similar properties in Westerham with over 90 years remaining are worth £265,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 yearly. The lease ends on 21st October 2095
With only 76 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £8,600 and £9,800 plus professional fees.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.
Me and my partner have just had an offer accepted on our first house in Westerham, and are about to get solicitors instructed. We have used the different rating tools and the fee estimates are from all across the the UK. Is it advisable to have a Westerham conveyancer local to the prospective new home? We are fine to do all the communicating electronically, but I assume at some point we will be required to physically go into the conveyancing practitioner's office to sign papers?
The conveyancing practitioner does not need to be in Westerham, but opting for local means that you have the option to go in if needed, by way of example, if a signature is immediately necessary. Also, a Westerham solicitor is likely to be familiar with local agents and (if the vendor has instructed a local solicitor) with them, which should help keep things moving faster.