Me and my fiance are buying a 1 bedroom flat in Headington with a mortgage. We like our Headington lawyer, but the bank advise she’s not on their "panel". It seems we have little choice but to appoint one of the bank panel solicitors or continue with our Headington conveyancer and pay for one of their panel lawyers to act for them. We regard this is unjust; is there anything we can do?
Unfortunately,no. Your mortgage offer is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the lender’s conveyancing panel. Until recently, most lenders had large numbers of law firms on their panels: a borrower could choose one for themselves, as long as it was on the lender's panel. The lender would then simply instruct the borrower's lawyers to act for the lender, too. You can use your lender's panel lawyers or you could borrow from another lender which does not restrict your choice. A further alternative is for your Headington conveyancing lawyer to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
What is the first thing I need to know about purchase conveyancing in Headington?
Not many law firms or advisers will tell you this but conveyancing in Headington or throughout Oxfordshire is an adversarial experience. Put another way, when it comes to conveyancing there is plenty of opportunity for confrontation between you and other parties involved in the house moving process. For instance, the seller, property agent and sometimes the bank. Selecting a lawyer for your conveyancing in Headington is a critical decision as your conveyancer is your adviser, and is the ONLY party in the transaction whose role it is to act in your best interests and to protect you.
On occasion a third party with a vested interest may try and persuade you that it is in your interests to do things their way. For example, the property agent may claim to be helping by suggesting your solicitor is slow. Or your mortgage broker may advise you to do something that is contrary to your lawyers advice. You should always trust your lawyer above all other parties when it comes to the legal transfer of property.
How does conveyancing in Headington differ for newly converted properties?
Most buyers of new build or newly converted property in Headington approach us having been asked by the housebuilder to exchange contracts and commit to the purchase even before the premises is built. This is because developers in Headington typically 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 conveyancing solicitors 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 Headington or who has acted in the same development.
Due to the input of my in-laws I had a survey completed on a house in Headington ahead of appointing lawyers. I have been informed that there is a flying freehold aspect to the house. Our surveyor has said that some lenders tend refuse to issue a loan on such a home.
It varies from the lender to lender. Santander has different instructions for example to Halifax. Should you wish to telephone us we can check via the relevant mortgage company. If you lender is happy to lend one our lawyers can assist as they are used to dealing with flying freeholds in Headington. Conveyancing can be more complicated and therefore you should check with your conveyancing solicitor in Headington to see if the conveyancing costs will increase in light of this.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Headington both have about 50 years left on the leases. should I be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Headington is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the premises. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 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 Headington 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. You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed 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.
Headington Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before Purchasing
The best form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this situation the lessees benefit from control and although a managing agent is often retained where it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves. Does the lease contain onerous restrictions? Best to be warned if window replacement or some other major work is due shortly to be shared by the tenants and could well materially impact the level of the maintenance fees or require a one time payment.