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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Greenwich

I am the single recipient of my late father’s estate with all property in now in my sole name, including the house in Greenwich. Conveyancing formalities meant that the Land Registry date was in March. I plan to dispose of the property. I understand that there is a CML six month 'rule', which means that my property ownership could be treated the same way as though I had purchased the property in March. Is the property unsalable for six months?

The CML handbook obliges solicitors to: "report to us immediately if the owner or registered proprietor has been registered for less than six months." Technically you could be impacted by that. Most banks would take a practical view as this clause is chiefly there to capture the purchase and immediately sell or the quick reselling of property.

is it true that all Greenwich conveyancing solicitors on the Skipton conveyancing panel are regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority?

As solicitors, in order to be on the Skipton approved list of solicitors they would need to be governed by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. The majority of banks do list licenced conveyancers on their panel in which case such practice would be overseen by the CLC.

The formalities of my remortgage has taken place for my property in Greenwich. Conveyancing was a necessary evil but I feel I should register my dissatisfaction about the lender. How does one go about formally complaining?

Almost all banks and building societies have complaints procedures. Your first point of contact should be one of the lender’s branches or the Customer Care Team at head office. In most cases complaints to a lender are resolved very quickly. If you feel the matter is not resolved you can write to Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR who will take matters further.

How does conveyancing in Greenwich differ for new build properties?

Most buyers of new build property in Greenwich contact us having been asked by the seller to exchange contracts and commit to the purchase even before the residence is finished. This is because house builders in Greenwich tend to buy 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 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 accustomed to new build conveyancing in Greenwich or who has acted in the same development.

Over the last few months I have been searching for a ground for flat up to £245,000 and identified one round the corner in Greenwich I like with open areas and station in the vicinity, however it's only got 52 remaining years left on the lease. There is not much else in Greenwich for this price, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error acquiring a short lease?

Should you need a home loan the remaining unexpired lease term may be problematic. Discount the price by the amount the lease extension will cost if not already taken into account. If the current proprietor has owned the property for a minimum of 2 years you may request that they commence the lease extension formalities and then assign it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the existing lease with a zero ground rent applied. You should consult your conveyancing lawyer regarding this.

I am looking at a two maisonettes in Greenwich both have approximately forty five years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Greenwich is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 a property 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 Greenwich 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.

My wife and I have hit a brick wall in seeking a lease extension in Greenwich. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the amount due.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Greenwich residence is 73 Walerand Road in August 2012. the result of the findings of the Tribunal led to a premium to be paid for the extended lease in respect of Flat 73 in the sum of £10,040. The premium applicable in respect of Flat 85 was £5,710. This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 72 years.

When it comes to my conveyancing in Greenwich should I be paying VAT on the following: (1) Land reg fee on purchase (2) Pre - completion search fee (3) SDLT E submission on purchase (4) Bank TT fee

(1) Land reg fee on purchase - No (2) Pre - completion search fees -No, (such conveyancing searches are HMLR ones and means £4 and possibly £2 bankruptcy per name on your mortgage) (3) SDLT E submission on your purchase - There is no VAT on Stamp Duty. However if the firm is charging a stamp duty e-submission fee as part of their services - some Greenwich conveyancers do - that will incur VAT(4) Bank transfer fee - Yes it is for the lawyer's time in submitting the funds this way.

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