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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Christchurch

My fiance and I swapping mortgage lender for our penthouse in Christchurch with Skipton. We have a son approaching twenty who lives with us. Our solicitor has asked us to disclose any adults other than ourselves who reside at the property. Our lawyer has now e-mailed a document for our son to sign, giving up any rights in the event that the flat is repossessed. I have a couple of concerns (1) Is this document specific to the Skipton conveyancing panel as he did not need to sign this form when we bought 5 years ago (2) Does our son by signing this compromise his rights to inherit the property?

On the face of it your lawyer has done nothing wrong as it is established procedure for any occupier who is aged 17 or over to sign the necessary Consent Form, which is purely to state that any rights he has in the property are postponed and secondary to Skipton. This is solely used to protect Skipton if the property were re-possessed so that in such circumstances, your son would be legally obliged to leave. It does not impact your son’s right to inherit the apartment. Please note that if your son were to inherit and the mortgage in favour of Skipton had not been discharged, he would be liable to take over the loan or pay it off, but other than that, there is nothing stopping him from keeping the property in accordance with your will or the rules of intestacy.

A relative recommended that if I am purchasing in Christchurch I should carry out a Neighbourhood, Planning and Local Amenity Search. What does it cover?

This is a search is occasionally quoted for as part of the standard Christchurch conveyancing searches. It is not a small report of about 40 pages, listing and detailing important information about Christchurch around the property and the people living there. It incorporates an Aerial Photograph, Planning Applications, Land Use, Mobile Phone Masts, Rights of Way, the Christchurch Housing Market, Council Tax Banding, the type of People living in the area, the dominant type of Housing, the Average Property Price, Crime details, Local Education with maps and statistics, Local Amenities and other useful information regarding Christchurch.

How does conveyancing in Christchurch differ for new build properties?

Most buyers of new build residence in Christchurch approach us having been asked by the builder to sign contracts and commit to the purchase even before the house is constructed. This is because new home sellers in Christchurch typically buy the land, plan the estate and want to get the plots sold off as they are building the properties. Buyers, therefore, will have to exchange contracts without actually seeing the house they are buying. To reduce the chances of losing the property, buyers should instruct conveyancing solicitors as soon as the property is reserved and mortgage applications should be submitted quickly. Due to the fact that it could be several months and even years between exchange of contracts and completion, the mortgage offer may need to be extended. It would be wise to use a lawyer who specialises in new build conveyancing especially if they are accustomed to new build conveyancing in Christchurch or who has acted in the same development.

I am looking for a flat up to £305k and identified one near me in Christchurch I like with open areas and station nearby, the downside is that it only has 51 years on the lease. I can't really find anything else in Christchurch in this price bracket, so just wondered if I would be making a mistake buying a lease with such few years left?

Should you require a mortgage the shortness of the lease will be an issue. Discount the price by the anticipated lease extension will cost if it has not already been discounted. If the existing proprietor has owned the property for at least twenty four months you could request that they start the process of the extension and pass it to you. You can add 90 years to the current lease and have £0 ground rent by law. You should consult your conveyancing lawyer concerning this matter.

All being well we will complete our sale of a £225,000 apartment in Christchurch in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Christchurch?

Christchurch conveyancing on leasehold flats usually requires the buyer’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled to levy a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.

Leasehold Conveyancing in Christchurch - Examples of Questions you should consider Prior to Purchasing

    What is the name of the managing agents? The answer will be important as a) areas may result in problems for the building as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate if repairs are not paid for b) if the tenants have a dispute with the running of the building you will want to know about it You will want to discover as much as possible concerning the company managing the building as they can either make living at the property much simpler or uncomfortable. Being a leasehold owner you will be in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to daily issues like the tidiness of the communal areas. Enquire of prospective neighbours whether they are happy with them. Finally, investigate as to the dates that you are obliged pay the service charge to the managing agents and specifically what it includes.

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