My partner and I are planning to purchase a flat in Cheshire and are in fact using a Cheshire conveyancing practice. Within the past 48 hours our property lawyer has forwarded the sale agreement to be signed with a detailed report in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. Chelsea Building Society have this afternoon contacted us to advise us that they have now hit a problem as our Cheshire conveyancer is not on their approved list of lawyers. What do we do from here?
When purchasing a property with mortgage finance it is standard for the purchasers' lawyers to also act for the purchaser's lender. 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 Accreditation Scheme. Your solicitor should contact your mortgage company 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 and you may continue to use your own Cheshire solicitors, in which case it will likely add costs, and it will likely delay the transaction as you have another set of people involved.
In what way does my ID and proof of funds have anything to do with my conveyancing in Cheshire? Why is this being asked of me?
Cheshire conveyancing solicitors and indeed property lawyers accross the UK have an obligation under Anti-terror and anti-money-laundering rules to verify the ID of any client in order to satisfy themselves that clients are who they say they are.
Conveyancing clients will need to disclose two forms of certified identification; proof of ID (typically a Passport or Driving Licence) and evidence of address (usually a Bank Statement less than 3 months old).
Evidence of source of funds is also required in accordance with the money laundering regulations as solicitors have a duty to investigate that the monies you are utilising to acquire a property (be it the exchange deposit or the full purchase monies if you are buying without a mortgage) has come from an acceptable source (such as an inheritance) and is not the proceeds of criminal activity.
I acquired my flat on 5 March and my personal details are still not registered. Any reason for this? My conveyancing solicitor in Cheshire said it should be dealt with in less than a month. Are transfers in Cheshire particularly slow to register?
There is nothing unique when it comes to conveyancing in Cheshire registration formalities. As opposed to being determined by geographic area, timeframes can adjust depending on who lodges the application, whether there are errors and whether the Land registry must send notices to any other persons or bodies. As of today in the region of three quarters of such applications are fully dealt with within 12 days but occasionally there can be longer delays. Registration takes place once the new owner is living at the premises therefore registration formalities is not always top priority yet where it is urgent that the the registration takes place urgently then you or your solicitor should speak with the land registry and explain the circumstances.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Cheshire from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Cheshire can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers’ solicitors. You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale. If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved. Some Cheshire leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
I bought a basement flat in Cheshire, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Comparable flats in Cheshire with over 90 years remaining are worth £176,000. The ground rent is £50 invoiced annually. The lease runs out on 21st October 2099
With only 80 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £8,600 and £9,800 plus professional fees.
The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs without more comprehensive investigations. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.
18 days into purchasing a property in Cheshire. Conveyancing lawyer has called to say the property is "Leasehold". Does this make a difference on our mortgage valuation?
Cheshire conveyancing does not usually involve leasehold houses. The crucial consideration here is the length of lease and the ground rent. If there are hundred of years years remaining with a peppercorn rent, it's virtually freehold, so it shouldn't impact the marketability too much.
On the flip side, if it's, say, fifty five years it will have a significant effect on the saleability, and probably wouldn't be mortgageable. The remaining lease term and ground rent will be specified in the lease provided to your conveyancing practitioner.