We are purchasing a 2 bedroom flat in Braintree with a mortgage. We would like to retain our Braintree conveyancer, but the bank advise she’s not on their "panel". We have to appoint one of the mortgage company panel conveyancing practices or keep our Braintree conveyancer as well as pay for one of their panel firms to act for them. This seems very unfair; is there anything we can do?
Unfortunately,no. The mortgage offered to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the bank’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. Another option that might be available is for your Braintree conveyancing solicitor to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
As a novice what is the most important advice you can give me concerning purchase conveyancing in Braintree?
Not many law firms or advisers will tell you this but conveyancing in Braintree and elsewhere in England and Wales is often a confrontational process. In other words, when it comes to conveyancing there is an abundance of opportunity for friction between you and others involved in the ownership transfer. E.g., the seller, selling agent and sometimes a bank. Selecting a solicitor for your conveyancing in Braintree should not be taken lightly as your conveyancer is your adviser, and is the ONLY person in the process whose responsibility is to protect your best interests and to keep you safe.
Every so often a third party with a vested interest may try and persuade you that you should follow their advice. For instance, the estate agent may claim to be assisting by suggesting your lawyer is dragging his heels. Or your financial adviser may try to convince you to do take action that is against your lawyers recommendation. You should always trust your lawyer above all other parties in the conveyancing process.
Am I right to be concerned that brokers that I am dealing with are recommending a national conveyancing firm rather than a High Street Braintree conveyancing practice?
As is the case with lots of professional services, often referrals from connections can be worth their weight in gold. Nevertheless there are numerous parties with a vested interest in a conveyancing deal; estate agents, mortgage brokers and lenders might all put forward conveyancers to choose. On occasion these conveyancers might be known to one of the organisations as one of the best in their field, but occasionally there exists a commercial relationship behind the endorsement. You have the discretion to appoint your preferred lawyer. However, bear in mind that most banks specify a panel list of law firms you have to use for the lender aspect of your home move.
Last August I purchased a leasehold property in Braintree. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).
Braintree Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
The answer will be useful as a) areas can result in problems in the building as the communal areas may start to deteriorate if maintenance are not paid for b) if the leaseholders have a dispute with the running of the building you will wish to have complete disclosure For most Braintree leaseholds the cost for major works are not included within service charges, although a few managing agents in Braintree obliged leasehold owners to contribute towards a reserve fund and this is used to offset against major repairs or maintenance.
Should I cancel the direct debit for my mortgage with TSB once a completion date for my sale in Braintree has been agreed?
You would be well advised to maintain meeting any mortgage payments to TSB pending the mortgage being repaid out of the proceeds of sale as part of your Braintree conveyancing.