My wife and I are intending to purchase a 2 bedroom apartment in Alfriston with a mortgage. We would like to retain our Alfriston solicitor, however the lender says he's not on their "panel". We have to appoint one of the bank panel conveyancing practices or continue with our Alfriston conveyancer as well as pay for one of their panel ones to represent them. This seems very unfair; is there anything we can do?
No, not really. The mortgage offered to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the lender’s conveyancing panel. Until recently, most lenders had large numbers of law firms on their panels: a borrower could choose one for themselves, as long as it was on the lender's panel. The lender would then simply instruct the borrower's lawyers to act for the lender, too. You can use your lender's panel lawyers or you could borrow from another lender which does not restrict your choice. A further alternative is for your Alfriston conveyancing solicitor to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
Last August we completed a house move in Alfriston. We have noticed several issues with the house which we consider were missed in the conveyancing searches. Do we have any recourse? Can you clarify the type of searches that needed to have been ordered for conveyancing in Alfriston?
It is not clear from the question as what problems have arisen and if they are unique to conveyancing in Alfriston. Conveyancing searches and investigations undertaken as part of the buying process are designed to help avoid problems. As part of the process, a property owner answers a questionnaire referred to as a Seller’s Property Information Form. If the information turns out to be misleading, you may have a misrepresentation claim 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 Alfriston.
It is 10 years ago since I bought my house in Alfriston. Conveyancing solicitors have now been appointed on the sale but I can't track down my title documents. Is this a problem?
Don’t worry too much. Firstly there is a possibility that the deeds will be with your lender or they may be in the possession of the solicitor who handled the purchase. Secondly the likelihood is that the title will be recorded at the land registry and you will be able to establish that you own the property by your conveyancing lawyers acquiring current official copies of the land registers. Nearly all conveyancing in Alfriston involves registered property but in the rare situation where your home is unregistered it adds to the complexity but is not insurmountable.
My step-father has suggested that I use his lawyers for conveyancing in Alfriston. Should I find my own property lawyer?
No doubt it’s preferable to select a conveyancing practitioner is to get referrals from friends or family who have used the solicitor you're are thinking of instructing.
I am an executor of my recently deceased mum’s Will, with a bungalow in Alfriston which will be sold. The property is unregistered at the Land Registry and I'm advised that many purchasers will insist that it is done before they will proceed. What's the mechanism for this?
In the circumstances that you have set out it seems prudent to apply to register in the names of the personal representative(s) as named in the probate and in their capacity as PRs. HMLR’s online guidance explains how to register for the first time and what is required re the deeds and forms. You would need to include and official copy of the probate as well and complete the form FR1 to refer to the PRs as the applicant.