We are planning to buy a 2 bedroom flat in Colchester with a mortgage. We have a Colchester lawyer, but the mortgage company advise he's not on their "panel". We have to appoint one of the mortgage company panel firms or retain our Colchester solicitor as well as pay for one of their panel firms to represent them. This seems very unfair; can we not insist that the bank use our Colchester solicitor ?
Unfortunately,no. The mortgage offered to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the lender’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 Colchester conveyancing solicitor to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
Our lawyer has identified a defect with the lease for the apartment we are buying in Colchester. The other side have suggested title insurance as a solution. We are happy with insurance and will pay for it. Our property lawyer has advised that he must check that the bank is willing to move forward with this solution. Are we the client or is the mortgage company ?
Even though you have a mortgage offer from the mortgage company does not mean to say that the property will meet their conditions for the purposes of a mortgage. Your lawyer has to ensure that the lease has to comply with the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook conditions. You and the mortgage company are the client. The appropriate lender requirements have to be complied with.
Is it necessary during the course of the conveyancing process to visit the offices of the solicitor to sign the mortgage deed? If so, I will appoint a lawyer who conducts conveyancing in Colchester so that I can attend their offices if necessary.
Whereas this was necessary 12 years ago, almost all lenders no longer need their conveyancing panel lawyer to witness the borrowers signature. It will still be necessary for you to supply ID documents and there are still distinct advantages to instructing a local solicitor, in your case a conveyancing solicitor in Colchester.
A friend advised me that where I am purchasing in Colchester I should ask my conveyancer to perform a Neighbourhood, Planning and Local Amenity Search. What does it cover?
A search of this type is sometimes quoted for as part of the standard Colchester conveyancing searches. It is a large report of more than thirty pages, listing and detailing important information about Colchester around the property and the people living there. It incorporates an Aerial Photograph, Planning Applications, Land Use, Mobile Phone Masts, Rights of Way, the Colchester Housing Market, Council Tax Banding, the type of People living in the area, the dominant type of Housing, the Average House Prices, Crime details, Local Education with maps and statistics, Local Amenities and other useful data about Colchester.
Over the last few months I have been searching for a ground for flat up to £195,000 and found one close by in Colchester I like with amenity areas and railway links nearby, the downside is that it's only got 61 remaining years left on the lease. I can't really find anything else in Colchester in this price bracket, so just wondered if I would be making a mistake purchasing a short lease?
Should you need a mortgage the shortness of the lease will likely be an issue. Discount the offer by the amount the lease extension will cost if it has not already been discounted. If the current proprietor has owned the premises for a minimum of twenty four months you could ask them to commence the lease extension formalities and then assign it to you. You can add 90 years to the existing lease and have £0 ground rent by law. You should speak to your conveyancing lawyer regarding this.