Our nephew is in the process of securing a house that has just been built in County Durham with a home loan from Santander. His lawyer has said that there is a delay in receiving the ‘Disclosure of Incentive Form’. What is this document - I have never come across this before?
The form is intended to provide information to the main parties engaged in the purchase. Therefore, it will be provided to your son’s lawyer who should be on the Santander conveyancing panel as a standard part of the process, and to the surveyor when asked. The developer will be required to start the process by downloading the form and completing it. The form will therefore need to be available for the valuer at the time of his or her site visit. The form should be sent to the Santander conveyancing panel solicitor as early as possible, in order to avoid any last minute delays, and no later than at exchange of contracts.
I used Wolstenholmes a few years ago for my conveyancing in County Durham. I now require my file but cannot find the solicitor. What do I do?
Do contact the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) to assist in tracking down your conveyancing files. They can be contacted on please contact on 0870 606 2555. Alternatively, you should use their online form to make an enquiry. You will need to provide the SRA with as much information as possible to assist their search, including the name and address in County Durham of the conveyancing firm of solicitors you previously retained, the name of conveyancing solicitor with whom you had dealings, and the date on which you last had dealings with the firm.
How does conveyancing in County Durham differ for new build properties?
Most buyers of new build or newly converted property in County Durham approach us having been asked by the seller to sign contracts and commit to the purchase even before the residence is ready to move into. This is because new home sellers in County Durham typically purchase the site, 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 County Durham or who has acted in the same development.
Am I best advised to choose a County Durham conveyancing practitioner in close proximity to the house I am purchasing? I have an old university friend who can execute the legal work however her office is 400kilometers away.
The primary upside of using a local County Durham conveyancing practice is that you can pop in to sign paperwork, present your identification documents and pester them where appropriate. Having local County Durham know how is a bonus. That being said nothing is more important than finding someone that will pull out all the stops for you. If other friends have used your friend and they were happy that should trump using an unfamiliar County Durham conveyancing lawyer solely due to them being based in the area.
New build sellers have put forward a conveyancer and I've obtained an estimate from them. They are nearly two hundred pounds cheaper than my own County Durham conveyancer. Should I use them?
Builders often have lists of property lawyers who are quick and who know the seller’s paperwork and conveyancing practitioner. Plenty of developers offer an inducement to select their approved lawyer for this reason, any increased charges can be avoided and a builder will not put forward a conveyancing factory and run the risk of having the transaction stall when they need an exchange in 28 days. The argument for not agreeing to use the recommended solicitor is that they may be reluctant to fight for your interests at the risk of alienating the sellers. If you worry that this may be the situation you should keep with your high street County Durham solicitor.