I am in the process of selling my ground floor flat in Cookham and the EA has just text me to advise that the purchasers are appointing a new property lawyer. The excuse is that the lender will only engage with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a major lender only engage with certain law firms rather the firm that they want to choose to handle their conveyancing in Cookham ?
Lenders have always had an approved set of law firms that can represent them, but in the past few years big names such as Santander, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have acted for them for many years.
Mortgage companies point to the increase in fraud by way of justification for the reduction – criteria have been stiffened as a smaller panel is easier to keep an eye on. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society claims that it is being contacted daily by practices that have been removed from panels. Some are unaware that they have been dropped until contacted by a borrower who has instructed them as might be the situation in your buyers' case. The buyers are unlikely to have any impact on this.
About to place an offer on a leasehold apartment in Cookham. The estate agents advise that it is standard for flats in Cookham to have less than 75 years unexpired on the lease. I am expecting a loan with The Mortgage Works. Will the property be mortgageable given that the lease has 69 years left.
Most leasehold conveyancing experts should be able to deal with a lease extension. if you are securing a mortgage then your lender may insist that the lease be extended before competition. The Mortgage Works have specific requirements as set out in the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook in relation to minimum unexpired lease terms. As of 15/2/2019 the requirements read as follows :
NEW BUILD PROPERTIES (includes office conversions)
The following are not acceptable:
- The unexpired lease term on a new build flat is less than 125 years
- The unexpired lease term on a new build house is less than 250 years
- Starting ground rent is more than 0.1% of the property value
The lease must be amended to comply with the above. If not the case cannot proceed. Please advise us where the case cannot proceed.
Ground rents and event fees:
Ground rent and other event fees must be reasonable at all times during the lease term. For example, it is acceptable for ground rent escalation to be linked to RPI (Retail Price Index) or a similar index and where this is the case we do not need to be advised. However, unreasonable multipliers of ground rent will not be permitted, for example, doubling every 5, 10 or 15 years. These must be referred to us and we will advise if our mortgage offer remains valid. If you are unsure as to whether the terms of a lease are unreasonable, please refer the details to us.
My father pointed out to me me that in buying a property in Cookham there could be various restrictions affecting the ability to carry out external alterations to the property. Is this right?
We are aware of anumerous of properties in Cookham which have some sort of restriction or requirement of consent to execute external alterations. Part of the conveyancing in Cookham should determine what restrictions are applicable and advising you as part of a ROT that should be sent to you.
My wife and I purchasing a 3 bedroom semi in Cookham. The intention is to convert the garage to an office at the property.Will legal work on the property involve enquiries to ascertain if these alterations are allowed?
Your solicitor will check the deeds as conveyancing in Cookham can occasionally reveal restrictions in the title deeds which prevent certain works or necessitated the permission of a 3rd party. Certain additions require local authority planning consent and approval in accordance building regulations. Many areas are designated conservation areas and special planning restrictions apply which frequently prevent or affect extensions. It would be prudent to check these things with a surveyor prior to committing yourself to a purchase.
How can we tell if a Cookham conveyancing solicitor on the UBS panel is any good?
When it comes to conveyancing in Cookham seeking recommendations is a good starting point. Before you go ahead, check if they offer a no sale no fee offer. Also, you often get what you pay for - a firm which quotes more, will often provide a better service than one which is cheap as chips. We would always advise that you speak with the solicitor conducting your transaction.
I have been on the look out for a flat up to £305k and identified one near me in Cookham I like with a park and transport links in the vicinity, however it's only got 49 years on the lease. I can't really find anything else in Cookham for this price, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error acquiring a lease with such few years left?
Should you require a mortgage the remaining unexpired lease term will be a potential deal breaker. Discount the offer by the expected lease extension will cost if not already taken into account. If the current owner has owned the property for at least 2 years you can request that they commence the lease extension formalities and pass it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the current lease term and have £0 ground rent by law. You should consult your conveyancing lawyer concerning this.
I only have 72 years unexpired on my lease in Cookham. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Cookham.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Cookham - Sample of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
The prefered form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this situation the tenants benefit from control and notwithstanding that a managing agent is often retained where the building is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves. It would be prudent to enquire if the the lease includes any onerous restrictions in the lease. For instance plenty of leases prohibit pets being permitted in certain buildings in Cookham. If you like the propertyin Cookham but your cat is not allowed to move with you then you have a very difficult compromise. Generally speaking the outlay for major works are not included within service charges, albeit that a few managing agents in Cookham require leaseholders to pay into a reserve fund created for the specific intention of establishing a fund for larger repairs or maintenance.