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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Bristol

My partner and I are purchasing a new build flat in Bristol and my lawyer is advising me that she is duty bound to the bank to disclose incentives from the seller. I am under pressure to exchange and I don't want to delay deal. is my lawyer playing by the book?

You should not exchange unless you have been advised to do so by your lawyer. A precondition to being on a bank panel is to comply with the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook requirements. The CML Conveyancing Handbook requires that your lawyer have the appropriate Disclosure of Incentive form completed by the developer and accepted by your lender.

Should my lawyer be asking questions regarding flooding during the conveyancing in Bristol.

Flooding is a growing risk for conveyancers conducting conveyancing in Bristol. There are those who acquire a property in Bristol, completely aware that at some time, it may suffer from flooding. However, aside from the physical destruction, where a house is at risk of flooding, it may be difficult to obtain a mortgage, adequate insurance cover, or dispose of the premises. There are steps that can be taken as part of the conveyancing process to forewarn the purchaser.

Conveyancers are not qualified to give advice on flood risk, but there are a number of checks that can be carried out by the purchaser or by their lawyers which can give them a better understanding of the risks in Bristol. The standard completed inquiry forms given to a buyer’s lawyer (where the Conveyancing Protocol is adopted) includes a usual question of the seller to find out whether the property has suffered from flooding. In the event that flooding has previously occurred which is not notified by the seller, then a buyer could bring a claim for damages as a result of such an incorrect reply. A purchaser’s conveyancers may also carry out an environmental search. This should indicate whether there is a recorded flood risk. If so, more detailed investigations will need to be made.

I have been on the look out for a flat up to £245,000 and identified one near me in Bristol I like with open areas and station nearby, however it only has 51 years unexpired on the lease. There is not much else in Bristol for this price, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error buying a lease with such few years left?

If you need a mortgage the shortness of the lease may be an issue. Discount the price by the amount the lease extension will cost if it has not already been discounted. If the current owner has owned the premises for at least twenty four months you can ask them to start the process of the extension and then assign it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the existing lease term and have £0 ground rent by law. You should speak to your conveyancing solicitor about this matter.

I only have Seventy years remaining on my flat in Bristol. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?

On the basis that 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 granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Bristol.

Bristol Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should consider Prior to buying

    The answer will be important as a) areas could result in problems in the block as the common areas may start to deteriorate if services remain unpaid b) if the leasehold owners have an issue with the managing agents you will need to have all the details What prohibitions are contained in the Bristol Lease? What is the service charge and ground rent on the property?

Developers have put forward a conveyancing practitioner and I've received a quote from them. It's almost two hundred pounds less expensive than my own Bristol conveyancing practitioner. Should I use them?

Builders frequently have lists of conveyancing practitioners who expedite matters and who know the builder's contract and property lawyer. Plenty of developers offer an inducement to use a preferred solicitor for this reason, any increased fees can be avoided and a builder won't put forward a conveyancing warehouse and run the risk of having the conveyancing delayed when they demand an exchange in 28 days. A counter-argument for not opting for the recommended property lawyer is that they may prove unwilling to 'push' your interests at the risk of upsetting the sellers. Where you have concerns that this may be the case you should keep with your local Bristol property lawyer.

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