My husband and I are planning to buy a house in Bilston and have instructed a Bilston conveyancing practice. Within the last couple of days our solicitor has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with the expectation that exchange is imminent. HSBC Bank have this evening contacted us to inform me that they have now hit a problem as our Bilston conveyancer is not on their approved list of lawyers. What do we do from here?
When purchasing a property with the benefit of a mortgage it is conventional for the purchasers' solicitors to also represent 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 Quality Scheme. Your solicitor should contact your bank 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 don't have to instruct a firm on the bank's conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred Bilston lawyers, in which case it will likely add costs, and it may delay matters as you have another set of people involved.
I purchased a freehold residence in Bilston but nevertheless charged rent, why is this and what is this?
It is rare for properties in Bilston and has limited impact for conveyancing in Bilston but some freehold properties in England (particularly common in North West England) pay an annual sum known as a Chief Rent or a Rentcharge to a third party who has no other legal interest in the land.
Rentcharge payments are usually between £2.00 and £5.00 per year. Rentcharges date back hundreds of years, but the Rent Charge Act 1977 barred the establishment of new rentcharges from 1977 onwards.
Old rentcharges can now be extinguished by making a lump sum payment under the Act. Any rentcharges that are still in existence in 2037 is to be extinguished.
Are there restrictive covenants that are commonly identified as part of conveyancing in Bilston?
Covenants that are restrictive in nature can be picked up when reviewing land registry title as part of the legal transfer of property in Bilston. An 1874 stipulation that was seen was ‘The houses to be erected on the estate are each to be of a uniform elevation in accordance with the drawings to be prepared or approved by the vendor’s surveyor…’
I am looking for a ground for flat up to £195,000 and identified one round the corner in Bilston I like with amenity areas and railway links in the vicinity, the downside is that it's only got 52 years unexpired on the lease. There is not much else in Bilston suitable, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error buying a lease with such few years left?
If you require a mortgage that many years will likely be problematic. Reduce the offer 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 can request that they start the process of the extension and then assign it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the current lease term with a zero ground rent applied. You should speak to your conveyancing lawyer regarding this.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years unexpired on my flat in Bilston. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Bilston.
I inherited a studio flat in Bilston, conveyancing having been completed 4 years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Similar properties in Bilston with a long lease are worth £222,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 charged once a year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2093
With only 71 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to be between £9,500 and £11,000 as well as professional fees.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other issues that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.