My wife and I are planning to acquire a home in Abridge and are in fact using a Abridge conveyancing firm. Within the past 48 hours our solicitor has forwarded the sale agreement to be signed with a detailed report with the expectation that exchange is imminent. Leeds Building Society have this afternoon contacted us to advise us that they have now hit a problem as our Abridge lawyer is not on their conveyancing panel. Is this a problem?
When purchasing a property with the benefit of a mortgage it is normal for the purchasers' solicitors 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 property lawyer should contact your lender 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 are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the bank's conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own Abridge solicitors, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it may delay matters as you are adding another lawyer into the mix.
Last November we completed a house move in Abridge. We have since encountered a number of problems with the property which we believe were overlooked in the conveyancing searches. What action can we take? Can you clarify the type of searches that needed to have been conducted for conveyancing in Abridge?
It is not clear from the question as what problems have arisen and if they are unique to conveyancing in Abridge. Conveyancing searches and investigations undertaken during the buying process are designed to help avoid problems. As part of the legal transfer of property, a seller fills in a form known as a Seller’s Property Information Form. If the information 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 Abridge.
The Abridge conveyancing firm that I recently instructed on my house acquisition in Abridge have without warning shut down. I chose them because I needed a solicitor on the Aldermore conveyancing panel and my preferred Abridge lawyer was not. I paid them funds on account. What are my options?
Assuming that you have an Estate Agent in the equation then inform them straight away so that they can let the sellers know that there may be a slight delay due to reasons beyond your control. Most sellers would be sympathetic and urge their lawyer to send a new set of papers to your new solicitors. You will need to appoint new lawyers that are on the Aldermore conveyancing panel and notify the lender. If you have paid over any money, it will hopefully be held by the SRA as money in an intervened firm's bank accounts is transferred to the SRA. Then, the SRA or the intervention agent looks at the intervened firm's accounts to work out who the money belongs to. To claim your money you will need to contact the SRA. If the SRA cannot return money you are owed from the firm's bank accounts, or if they can only return part of the money, you can apply to the Compensation Fund for a grant. Your new lawyers should be in a position to help.
Should my conveyancer be raising enquiries about flooding during the conveyancing in Abridge.
The risk of flooding is if increasing concern for lawyers dealing with homes in Abridge. There are those who acquire a property in Abridge, completely aware that at some time, it may suffer from flooding. However, aside from the physical damage, where a house is at risk of flooding, it may be difficult to obtain a mortgage, adequate building insurance, or sell the property. Steps can be carried out during the course of a house purchase to forewarn the buyer.
Solicitors are not qualified to impart advice on flood risk, but there are a various searches that may be carried out by the purchaser or by their conveyancers which will give them a better understanding of the risks in Abridge. The conventional set of information given to a purchaser’s solicitor (where the solicitors are adopting what is known as the Conveyancing Protocol) incorporates a standard inquiry of the seller to discover if the property has historically flooded. If flooding has previously occurred which is not disclosed by the vendor, then a buyer could issue a compensation claim as a result of such an misleading response. The purchaser’s solicitors will also conduct an enviro report. This should reveal whether there is a recorded flood risk. If so, more detailed investigations will need to be carried out.
Last August I purchased a leasehold flat in Abridge. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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).
Despite our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Abridge. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Abridge conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Abridge flat is 201 & 201a St. Barnabas Road in October 2013. The Tribunal decided that the price to be paid by the Applicants for the freehold interest is £20,071. This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 69.26 years.