I am assisting my niece sell her property in Berkeley. Will the solicitor commission the EPC or do I organise this?
Following the demise of Home Information Packs, energy assessments was left as a required element of selling a property. An EPC needs to be commissioned before the property is marketed. This is not as aspect of the sale process that lawyers normally arrange. Where you are instructing a Berkeley conveyancing practitioner they might be able to arrange energy performance certificates due to their contacts with reputable local energy assessors
When it comes to mortgage companies such as Co-operative, do Berkeley solicitors have to pay a yearly amount to be on the list of approved solicitors?
We are unaware of any lender fees to be on their list of approved firms, although some do levy an administration charge to deal with the processing of the conveyancing panel application.
The mortgage over my property is with Barclays for my property in Berkeley. Conveyancing has been completed months ago. Should I wish to rent out the flat and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a BTL mortgage or inform Barclays?
Barclays must be informed of your intention in advance of renting your property as this is likely to be a breach of Barclays’s mortgage conditions. In many cases banks or building societies will allow you to rent out your former home without needing to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage but some lenders will add a surcharge to your mortgage rate to reflect the higher risk. You should contact Barclays directly. It should not be necessary to do this via a Barclays conveyancing panel firm.
A relative advised me that if I am buying in Berkeley I should carry out a Neighbourhood, Planning and Local Amenity Search. What does it cover?
A search of this type is usually included in the estimate for your Berkeley conveyancing searches. It is not a small report of about 40 pages, listing and setting out significant information about Berkeley around the property and the people living there. It includes an Aerial Photograph, Planning Applications, Land Use, Mobile Phone Masts, Rights of Way, the local Housing Market, Council Tax Banding, the type of People living in the area, the dominant type of Housing, the Average House Prices, Crime statistics, Local Education with plans and statistics, Local Amenities and other useful information about Berkeley.
I am looking for a leasehold apartment up to £245,000 and identified one near me in Berkeley I like with open areas and station in the vicinity, the downside is that it only has 51 years unexpired on the lease. I can't really find anything else in Berkeley for this price, so just wondered if I would be making a mistake acquiring a short lease?
If you need a mortgage the remaining unexpired lease term will likely be a potential deal breaker. Discount the price by the expected lease extension will cost if not already taken into account. If the existing owner has owned the premises for a minimum of twenty four months you could request that they start the process of the extension and then assign it to you. You can add 90 years to the existing lease term with a zero ground rent applied. You should consult your conveyancing lawyer about this matter.
I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Berkeley. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed, but I have recently had a quarterly service charge demand – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is clear the maintenance contribution as usual because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned as part of the financial calculations for completion monies, so you will be reimbursed by the purchaser for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date, so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I invested in buying a 1 bedroom flat in Berkeley, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Similar flats in Berkeley with an extended lease are worth £216,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 levied per year. The lease expires on 21st October 2088
You have 69 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £9,500 and £11,000 as well as costs.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more detailed due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.
My nephew is about to join the property ladder, he had his mortgage in principle. One the seller agreed the offer on the apartment we contacted the lender to move forward with his. We were shocked to learn that mortgage lenders do not accept all property lawyer, they must be on their panel, is this correct?
Lenders normally imposes restrictions either the type or the number of conveyancing solicitors on their approved list of lawyers. Typical examples of such restriction(s) being that a firm must have two or more partners. In addition to restricting the type of firm, some have decided to limit the number of firms they use to represent them. You should note that lenders have no responsibility for the quality of advice provided by any Berkeley lawyer on their panel. Mortgage fraud was a key driver in the rationalisation of conveyancing panels a few years ago and whilst there are differing views about the extent of solicitor involvement in some of that fraud. Statistics from the Land Registry reveal that thousands of law firms only carry out one or two conveyances a year. Those supporting conveyancing panel cuts ask why law firms should have the right to be on a Lender panel when clearly, conveyancing is not their speciality. To put it another way; would you want a conveyancing solicitor to represent you if you were charged with a crime? Presumably not.