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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Booker

I am about to put an offer on a leasehold apartment in Booker. The estate agents say that it is usual for flats in Booker to have less than 75 years left on the lease. I am expecting a mortgage with The Mortgage Works. Is this going to be a problem if the lease has 72 years to go.

Most leasehold conveyancing experts should be able to deal with a lease extension. if you are securing a mortgage then your lender may insist that the lease be extended before competition. The Mortgage Works have specific requirements as set out in the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook in relation to minimum unexpired lease terms. As of 19/5/2022 the requirements read as follows :

Minimum unexpired lease term is 70 years with 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term.
Where the unexpired lease term is different to that recorded on the mortgage offer, the following clarifies if we need to be informed:

Second hand property:
- If the unexpired lease term on the offer is 85 years or more - only advise us if the actual lease term is less than 85 years
- if the unexpired lease term on the offer is less than 85 years – advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported
- For equity share applications - advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported on the offer

New build property:
- If the unexpired lease term stated on the offer is 125 years (flat) / 250 years (house) or more - only advise us if the actual lease term is less than 125 years (flat) / 250 years (house)
- For equity share applications - always advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported on the offer

Lease terms such as ground rent and event fees must be reasonable at all times during the term of the lease and adhere to our requirements below. If you’re unsure as to whether the terms of a lease are unreasonable or onerous, please refer the details to us in plain English for Valuer consideration. If the potentially onerous terms are in relation to the ground rent please include the current ground rent figure per annum, how often it will be reviewed and the price structure it will be reviewed against. See the guidance below.

SECOND HAND PROPERTIES

Unacceptable - advise Originations (Will be declined):
- Unexpired lease term less than 70 years
- Less than 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term
- Ground Rent greater than 0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent doubles less than every 20 years (e.g. doubles every 5, 10 or 15 years) - acceptable if doubles every 20 years or more
- Ground Rent is compounded RPI
- Ground Rent review period less than or equal to 5 years

Refer to Originations (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Unexpired lease term is 70 to 85 years
- Ground Rent greater than 0.1% and less than or equal to 0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent escalation is linked to any indices greater than RPI
- Ground Rent escalation is linked to the value of the building*
- Ground Rent review period is greater than 5 and less than 10 years
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial etc
- Estate Rent Charges greater than £500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges greater than 0.5% of property value p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Anything that appears onerous, unusual or out of the ordinary

Acceptable (no requirement to advise Originations):
- Unexpired lease term greater than 85 years
- Ground Rent less than or equal to 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period greater than or equal to 10 years
- Ground Rent escalation less than or equal to RPI

NEW BUILD PROPERTIES (includes office conversions)

Unacceptable - advise Originations (Will be declined):
- Unexpired lease term less than 125 years on a new build flat or less than 250 years on a new build house
- Starting Ground Rent greater than 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period less than or equal to 5 years
- Ground Rent doubles less than every 20 years (e.g. doubles every 5, 10 or 15 years) - acceptable if doubles every 20 years or more
- Ground Rent is compounded RPI

Refer to Originations (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Ground Rent is linked to any indices greater than RPI
- Ground Rent is linked to the value of the building*
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial etc
- Estate Rent Charges greater than £500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges greater than 0.5% of property value p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Anything else appears onerous, unusual or out of the ordinary

Acceptable (no requirement to advise Originations):
- Unexpired lease term greater than or equal to 125 years on a new build flat or greater than or equal to 250 years on a new build house
- Starting Ground Rent less than or equal to 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period greater than 5 years
- Ground Rent escalation less than or equal to RPI

* Where the Ground Rent escalation is linked to the value of the building, please provide the following:
- How is the value of the block/unit currently calculated and if the assessment relates to the block(s), how is the Ground Rent calculated/apportioned per property?
- The current valuation and Ground Rent for each unit
- What is the mechanism for future valuations of the block and how is the Ground Rent calculated/apportioned?
- What is the right of appeal? And is this a documented process within the lease?
- Who bears the cost of the valuation (and appeal) process?
- Confirmation the review period is not less than twenty years

I used Stirling Law several years ago for my conveyancing in Booker. Now, I need the files but cannot find the solicitor. What do I do?

You should call the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) to help locate your conveyancing files. They can be contacted on please contact on 0870 606 2555. Alternatively, you should use their online form to make an enquiry. You will need to provide the SRA with as much information as possible to assist their search, including the name and address in Booker of the conveyancing firm of solicitors you previously instructed, the name of conveyancing solicitor with whom you had dealings, and the date on which you last had dealings with the firm.

Due to the advice of my in-laws I had a survey completed on a house in Booker before retaining lawyers. I have been informed that there is a flying freehold overhang to the property. My surveyor advised that some banks may not issue a loan on this type of home.

It depends who your proposed lender is. Bank of Scotland has different requirements from Nationwide. If you call us we can look into this further via the appropriate bank. If you lender is happy to lend one our lawyers can help as they are accustomed to dealing with flying freeholds in Booker. Conveyancing can be more complicated and therefore you should check with your conveyancing solicitor in Booker to see if the conveyancing costs will increase in light of this.

In my capacity as executor for the will of my father I am disposing of a residence in Monmouth but reside in Booker. My conveyancer (based 260 miles awayhas requested that I execute a stat dec before completion. Could you suggest a conveyancing lawyer in Booker to attest and place their company stamp on the document?

Technically speaking you are not likely to need to have the documents witnessed by a conveyancing solicitor. Ordinarily any notary public or qualified solicitor will suffice regardless of whether they are based in Booker

The property lawyers carrying out our conveyancing in Booker has sent documents to review that indicate that the property is unregistered with epitome documents. How can it be that the property not registred at HM Land Regsitry?

It is unusual for property in Booker to be unregistered. An 'epitome' is basically a dossier of photocopies of documents affecting an unregistered title. Many Booker conveyancing practitioners should be capable of dealing with this type of conveyancing but in the event that uncertainty prevails the conventional recommendation nowadays is for the current owners to register the title first and then deal with the transfer to the buyer - this can though naturally result in a significant delay.

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Find out more about how flying freehold can affect your the value of a property.