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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Dunston

My son is in the process of securing a new build apartment in Dunston with a home loan from HSBC. His conveyancer has advised him of a delay in receiving the ‘Disclosure of Incentive Form’. This document is news to me - what is it and who needs sight of it?

The document is intended to provide information to the main parties involved in the transaction. Therefore, it will be provided to your son’s lawyer who should be on the HSBC 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 HSBC conveyancing panel solicitor as early as possible, in order to avoid any last minute delays, and no later than at exchange of contracts.

Please explain the implications if my lawyer’s firm is suspended from the Santander Solicitor panel ahead of completing my conveyancing in Dunston?

First, this is very unlikely to happen. In most cases even where a law firm is removed off of a panel the lender would allow the completion to go ahead as the lender would appreciate the difficulties that they would place you in if you have to instruct a new solicitor days before completion. In a worst case scenario where the lender insists that you instruct a new firm then it is possible for a very good lawyer to expedite the conveyancing albeit that you may pay a significant premium for this. The analogous situation is where a buyer instructs a lawyer, exchanges contracts and the law firm is shut down by a regulator such as the SRA. Again, in this situation you can find lawyers who can troubleshoot their way to bring the conveyancing to a satisfactory conclusion - albeit at a cost.

Are there restrictive covenants that are commonly identified during conveyancing in Dunston?

Restrictive covenants can be picked up when reviewing land registry title as part of the process of conveyancing in Dunston. An 1874 stipulation that was seen was ‘The houses to be erected on the estate are each to be of a uniform elevation in accordance with the drawings to be prepared or approved by the vendor’s surveyor…’

How does conveyancing in Dunston differ for newly converted properties?

Most buyers of new build residence in Dunston come to us having been asked by the seller to sign contracts and commit to the purchase even before the property is ready to move into. This is because house builders in Dunston typically purchase 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 conveyancers 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 used to new build conveyancing in Dunston or who has acted in the same development.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Dunston with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Dunston can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Dunston state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Should you dont have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer first. If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is ongoing. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than ongoing. You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

Leasehold Conveyancing in Dunston - Examples of Questions you should ask before Purchasing

    It would be sensible to discover as much as possible about the company managing the building as they can either make life much simpler or problematic. Being a leasehold owner you are often at the mercy of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to day to day issues such as the cleanliness of the communal areas. Don't be afraid to ask prospective neighbours whether they are happy with their service. In conclusion, be sure you understand the dates that you are obliged pay the maintenance charge to the appropriate party and specifically how they are spending that money. On the whole the cost for major works are not incorporated into the maintenance charges, although some managing agents in Dunston require leaseholders to pay into a sinking fund created for the specific purpose of building a fund for larger works. It would be sensible to enquire if the the lease contains any onerous restrictions in the lease. By way of example it is fairly common in Dunston leases that pets are not permitted in certain buildings in Dunston. If you love the propertyin Dunston yet your cat can’t live with you then you have a very hard choice.

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