I am under pressure from the owner of a property in Devon to exchange within four weeks. What can be done to speed up the legal process?
First, If the seller is applying pressure for your conveyancing we would recommend that your conveyancer is familiar with the area as they will make use of local contacts and insight. It is possible that they would have conducted previousproperties in the same street. You would be best advised to use a Devon conveyancing firm. Second, ensure that the conveyancing firm is on the lender panel. It is believed that 18% of Devon conveyancing transactions are held up or jeopardised after discovering a purchaser’s conveyancer was not on their mortgage lender’s panel. In many cases this discovery resulted in the legal process being delayed by an average of three weeks. It is said that this issue impacts in the region of 100,000 home sales every year. Almost all Devon conveyancing practices can not represent certain mortgage companies so do check as early as possible.
Yesterday I discovered that there is a flying freehold issue on a property I have offered on a fortnight ago in what should have been a simple, no chain conveyancing. Devon is where the house is located. What do you suggest?
Flying freeholds in Devon are not the norm but are more likely to exist in relation to terraced houses. Even where you use a solicitor outside Devon you would need to get your solicitor to go through the deeds very carefully. Your mortgage company may require your conveyancing solicitor to take out an indemnity policy. Some of the more diligent conveyancing solicitors in Devon may decide that this is not enough and that the deeds be re-written to give you the most up to date legal protection. If so, the next door neighbour also had to sign up to the revised deeds.It is possible that your lender will not accept the situation so the sooner you find out the better. You should also check with your insurance broker as to whether they will insure a flying freehold premises.
Am I right to be wary that estate agents that I am dealing with are suggesting a web based conveyancing firm as opposed to a local Devon conveyancing company?
As is the case with lots of professional services, often referrals from connections can be worth their weight in gold. Yet there are many players in a conveyancing deal; estate agents, financial adviser and mortgage companies may recommend conveyancers to instruct. Sometimes these solicitors might be known to one of the organisations as one of the best in their field, but sometimes there is an underlying commercial relationship behind the endorsement. You are free to choose your preferred conveyancer. However, bear in mind that the majority of mortgage providers operate an approved list of law firms you have to use for the mortgage aspect of your transaction.
Am I best advised to appoint a Devon conveyancing practitioner who is local to the property I am purchasing? I have an old university friend who can handle the legal work however his firm is located a couple of hundredkilometers drive away.
The benefit of a local Devon conveyancing firm is that you can pop in to execute paperwork, present your ID and pester them if necessary. They will also have local intelligence which is a plus. That being said nothing is more important than finding someone that will do a good and efficient job. If if people you trust used your friend and the majority were impressed that must trump using an unknown Devon conveyancing lawyer solely due to them being local.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Devon. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Devon who previously acted has long since retired. Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Devon conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I own a ground floor flat in Devon, conveyancing having been completed 9 years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Comparable properties in Devon with a long lease are worth £202,000. The ground rent is £60 invoiced annually. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2076
With just 56 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £29,500 and £34,000 plus legals.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other concerns that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.