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Ready to buy a new home in Fenstanton? Failing to check that a lawyer is on your lender’s list of approved solicitors can put your Fenstanton conveyancing at risk of delay or failure.

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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Fenstanton

I am in the process of selling my home in Fenstanton and the estate agent has just text me to say that the purchasers are swapping property lawyer. The excuse is that the lender will only work with solicitors on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a major mortgage company only deal with certain lawyers rather the firm that they want to select for their conveyancing in Fenstanton ?

Banks have always had panels of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the last few years big names such as Nationwide, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have represented them for more than 15 years.

Lending institutions attribute this action to a rise in fraud as the reason for the pruning – criteria have been tightened as a smaller panel is easier to maintain. Banks tend not to reveal how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society says 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 purchasers are unlikely to have any impact on this.

About to place an offer on a leasehold apartment in Fenstanton. The selling agents advise that it is normal for flats in Fenstanton to have less than 75 years left on the lease. I am getting a mortgage with The Mortgage Works. Will the property be mortgageable given that the lease has 70 years left.

Most leasehold conveyancing experts should be able to deal with a lease extension. if you are obtaining 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 14/9/2020 the requirements read as follows :

Minimum unexpired lease term is 70 years with 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term.
Where the unexpired lease term is different to that recorded on the mortgage offer, the following clarifies if we need to be informed:

Second hand property:
- If the unexpired lease term on the offer is 85 years or more - only advise us if the actual lease term is less than 85 years
- if the unexpired lease term on the offer is less than 85 years – advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported
- For equity share applications - advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported on the offer

New build property:
- If the unexpired lease term stated on the offer is 125 years (flat) / 250 years (house) or more - only advise us if the actual lease term is less than 125 years (flat) / 250 years (house)
- For equity share applications - always advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported on the offer

Lease terms such as ground rent and event fees must be reasonable at all times during the term of the lease and adhere to our requirements below. If you’re unsure as to whether the terms of a lease are unreasonable or onerous, please refer the details to us in plain English for Valuer consideration. If the potentially onerous terms are in relation to the ground rent please include the current ground rent figure per annum, how often it will be reviewed and the price structure it will be reviewed against. See the guidance below.

SECOND HAND PROPERTIES

Unacceptable - advise Originations (Will be declined):
- Unexpired lease term less than 70 years
- Less than 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term
- Ground Rent greater than 0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent doubles less than every 20 years (e.g. doubles every 5, 10 or 15 years) - acceptable if doubles every 20 years or more
- Ground Rent is compounded RPI
- Ground Rent review period less than or equal to 5 years

Refer to Originations (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Unexpired lease term is 70 to 85 years
- Ground Rent greater than 0.1% and less than or equal to 0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent escalation is linked to any indices greater than RPI
- Ground Rent escalation is linked to the value of the building*
- Ground Rent review period is greater than 5 and less than 10 years
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial etc
- Estate Rent Charges greater than £500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges greater than 0.5% of property value p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Anything that appears onerous, unusual or out of the ordinary

Acceptable (no requirement to advise Originations):
- Unexpired lease term greater than 85 years
- Ground Rent less than or equal to 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period greater than or equal to 10 years
- Ground Rent escalation less than or equal to RPI

NEW BUILD PROPERTIES (includes office conversions)

Unacceptable - advise Originations (Will be declined):
- Unexpired lease term less than 125 years on a new build flat or less than 250 years on a new build house
- Starting Ground Rent greater than 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period less than or equal to 5 years
- Ground Rent doubles less than every 20 years (e.g. doubles every 5, 10 or 15 years) - acceptable if doubles every 20 years or more
- Ground Rent is compounded RPI

Refer to Originations (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Ground Rent is linked to any indices greater than RPI
- Ground Rent is linked to the value of the building*
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial etc
- Estate Rent Charges greater than £500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges greater than 0.5% of property value p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Anything else appears onerous, unusual or out of the ordinary

Acceptable (no requirement to advise Originations):
- Unexpired lease term greater than or equal to 125 years on a new build flat or greater than or equal to 250 years on a new build house
- Starting Ground Rent less than or equal to 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period greater than 5 years
- Ground Rent escalation less than or equal to RPI

* Where the Ground Rent escalation is linked to the value of the building, please provide the following:
- How is the value of the block/unit currently calculated and if the assessment relates to the block(s), how is the Ground Rent calculated/apportioned per property?
- The current valuation and Ground Rent for each unit
- What is the mechanism for future valuations of the block and how is the Ground Rent calculated/apportioned?
- What is the right of appeal? And is this a documented process within the lease?
- Who bears the cost of the valuation (and appeal) process?
- Confirmation the review period is not less than twenty years

Do I need to be concerned by estate agents that I am dealing with are encouraging me to use a web based conveyancing firm as opposed to a High Street Fenstanton conveyancing practice?

As is the case with lots of professional services, often input from family and friends can be extremely useful or valuable. But there are numerous parties with a keen interest in a conveyancing matter; estate agents, financial adviser and mortgage companies might all suggest lawyers to use. Sometimes the lawyers might be known to one of the organisations as being good in their field, but occasionally there behind the scenes financial incentive behind the endorsement. You have the right to select your own lawyer. Don't forget that many mortgage providers operate an approved list of solicitors you are obliged to use for the mortgage aspect of your home move.

Is it best to go with a Fenstanton conveyancing practitioner in close proximity to the house I am hoping to buy? An old friend can execute the legal work but they are based 200kilometers away.

The benefit of a high street Fenstanton conveyancing firm is that you can visit the firm to sign documents, deliver your ID and apply pressure on them if necessary. They will also have local knowledge which is a benefit. That being said nothing is more important than finding someone that will pull out all the stops for you. If other friends have instructed your friend and in the main were impressed that should surpass using an unfamiliar Fenstanton conveyancing solicitor solely due to them being based in the area.

Looking forward to exchange soon on a leasehold property in Fenstanton. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Fenstanton should include some of the following:

    Whether your lease provides for a slush fund? Are you allowed to have a pet in the flat? Repair and maintenance of the flat Responsibility for maintaining the window frames You would want to receive a copy of the lease
For details of the information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Fenstanton please enquire of your conveyancer in ahead of your conveyancing in Fenstanton.

Fenstanton Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing

    Does this lease have more than 90 years left? It is important to be aware if window replacement or some other major work is due in the foreseeable future to be shared by the leasehold owners and could well materially increase the the maintenance fees or require a one off payment.

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