I am currently in the process of buying my council flat in East Sussex. I have a mortgage agreed with Clydesdale. Conveyancing is new to me. Can I proceed without a solicitor easily? I think we can but we keep being told I should have one. Any advice?
It is not advisable to proceed with a house purchase without a solicitor. The council's solicitor are not acting for you. You need a solicitor for a number reasons. One of which is to verify what plans the Council have for repairs and refurbishment for the next five years. Many leaseholders have been stung for contributions of thousands of pounds. In any event, if you are getting a mortgage with Clydesdale, you will need to appoint a solicitor on the Clydesdale conveyancing panel.
I currently have a mortgage with TSB for my property in East Sussex. Conveyancing was finalised 12 months ago. Should I wish to rent out the flat and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a buy-to-let mortgage or inform TSB?
TSB must be informed of your intention before letting out your property as this is likely to be a breach of TSB’s mortgage conditions. It may be that TSB will permit you to let out your former home without needing to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage but some lenders will add a surcharge to your mortgage rate to reflect the higher risk. You should contact TSB directly. It should not be necessary to do this via a TSB conveyancing panel firm.
It is not clear whether my lender obliges me to make sure the lease term for the flat is extended prior to the completion date. I have called my East Sussex building society branch on various occasions and was told they are content with the situation and they would lend. My East Sussex conveyancing solicitor - who is on the lender conveyancing panel- called and was told they would not lend in accordance with their published requirements. Who do I believe?
As long as the conveyancer is on the mortgage company panel, she or he must adhere to the CML Handbook provisions for the lender. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that the bank will go ahead, your lawyer has no choice but to refrain from exchanging contract and committing you to the purchase. We would suggest that you ask the mortgage company to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the number of years remaining.
How does conveyancing in East Sussex differ for new build properties?
Most buyers of new build or newly converted property in East Sussex contact us having been asked by the housebuilder to exchange contracts and commit to the purchase even before the property is finished. This is because builders in East Sussex typically buy the real estate, 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 East Sussex or who has acted in the same development.
Due to the guidance of my in-laws I had a survey completed on a house in East Sussex in advance of instructing solicitors. I have been informed that there is a flying freehold aspect to the property. Our surveyor advised that some banks may not give a mortgage on this type of premises.
It depends who your proposed lender is. Santander has different requirements for example to Birmingham Midshires. Should you wish to call us we can look into this further via the relevant lender. If you lender is happy to lend one our lawyers can assist as they are accustomed to dealing with flying freeholds in East Sussex. Conveyancing can be more complicated and therefore you should check with your conveyancing solicitor in East Sussex to see if the conveyancing will be more expensive.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in East Sussex which have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in East Sussex is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with East Sussex conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease. They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I acquired a 1st floor flat in East Sussex, conveyancing having been completed 6 years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Similar properties in East Sussex with over 90 years remaining are worth £185,000. The ground rent is £65 per annum. The lease expires on 21st October 2078
With 60 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £20,000 and £23,000 as well as costs.
The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to provide a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.
I have been advised by numerous friends that it may take 6-8 weeks for East Sussex conveyancing to complete.This was 3 ago. The paperwork was only received from the vendors conveyancing practitioner yesterday so now does it countdown?
You need to be realistic concerning timing. Conveyancing in East Sussex takes on average about ten weeks. This time period is not due to conveyancer being slow and purposely delay matters. The amount of money involved in purchasing any property is so high, the buyer’s conveyancer needing to raise a wide range of enquiries, searches and supplemental checks to protect the buyer and their lender (if there is to be a mortgage) from expensive, avoidable problems. Conveyancing in East Sussex involves seeking information from various third parties, including other property lawyer, local councils, private companies, lenders. Many of these are well organised. Others aren't. And remember, it doesn't matter how quickly your lawyer do their job, if the people you are purchasing from or are selling to aren't ready, nothing can move forward until they are up to speed.