Am I correct in assuming that the fact that my solicitor in Woodlands is not identified on my bank's conveyancing panel that there is a problem with the standard of the firm’s work?
It would not be wise to jump to that conclusion. There are all sorts of perfectly plausible explanations. A recent report by the solicitors regulator revealed 76% of law firms surveyed had been removed from at least one lender panel. The most common reasons for removal are: (1) lack of transactions (2) the solicitor is a sole practitioner (3) as part of the HSBC panel reduction (4) regulatory contact by SRA (5) accidental removal. Should you be concerned you should contact the Woodlands conveyancing firm and enquire why they are no longer on the approved list for your lender.
There are numerous conveyancing solicitors in Woodlands but how do I know who I should use?
We would encourage you not to go for the cheapest Woodlands conveyancing fees. You really do get what you’re paying for when it comes to conveyancing solicitors. A cheap quote may mean that the conveyancing solicitor is handling a lot of jobs at one time and you won’t get the quality of service and the attention that you need. It is, however, wise to use a conveyancer who has a fixed fee on a no sale, no fee basis. This way, you go into the conveyancing with your eyes wide open.
A friend advised me that in purchasing a property in Woodlands there could be a number of restrictions affecting the ability to carry out external changes to a property. Is this right?
There are anumerous of properties in Woodlands which have some sort of restriction or requirement of consent to carry out external variations. Part of the conveyancing in Woodlands should determine what restrictions are applicable and advising you as part of a ROT that should be sent to you.
Is it the case that all Woodlands conveyancing solicitors on the Bank of Ireland conveyancing panel are regulated by the SRA?
As a firm of solicitors, in order to be on the Bank of Ireland approved list of solicitors they would need to be regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. The majority of banks do permit licenced conveyancers on their panel in which case such organisation would be overseen by the CLC.
What will a local search reveal about the house my wife and I purchasing in Woodlands?
Woodlands conveyancing often starts with the ordering local authority searches directly from your local Authority or through a personal search organisations for example PSG The local search is essential in every Woodlands conveyancing purchase; as long as you wish to avoid any nasty surprises after you move into your new home. The search will provide information on, amongst other things, details on planning applications relevant to the premises (whether granted or refused), building control history, any enforcement action, restrictions on permitted development, nearby road schemes, contaminated land and radon gas; in all a total of thirteen topic headings.
How does conveyancing in Woodlands differ for new build properties?
Most buyers of new build property in Woodlands contact us having been asked by the seller to exchange contracts and commit to the purchase even before the house is finished. This is because builders in Woodlands 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 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 used to new build conveyancing in Woodlands or who has acted in the same development.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Woodlands. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
I am the proprietor of a garden flat in Woodlands. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum payable for the purchase of the freehold?
Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Woodlands property is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 60.45 years.
We own a leasehold flat in Woodlands. Conveyancing was completed in 2010. I have heard that I mustn’t let the lease length get too short. Why is that a problem?
Woodlands leasehold properties are for a fixed term - often just under one hundred years when they started. However a significant appartments in Woodlands were constructed or converted 30 or more years ago and so such leases now have under 80 years remaining. This may sound like plenty of time however Banks, Building Societies and other mortgage lenders on the whole need leases to have a minimum of seventy five years remaining to be mortgageable. Accordingly when you come to sell the property you will need to extend the term of your lease if you are nearing seventy five years. To maximise the marketability of your property you should be thinking about whether to extend your lease long before you come to sell it. Furthermore significant benefits to taking action before the lease hits eighty years as when the lease falls below eighty years the amount to be paid to extend starts to escalate.