I am selling my home in Herefordshire and the EA has just called to warn that the buyers are changing their conveyancer. The excuse is that the mortgage company will only work with solicitors on their approved list. On what basis would a big named mortgage company only deal with certain lawyers rather the firm that they want to choose to handle their conveyancing in Herefordshire ?
Lenders have always had an approved set of law firms that can represent them, but in the past few years big names such as Nationwide, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for many years.
Lenders point to the increase in fraud as the reason for the reduction – criteria have been narrowed as a smaller panel is easier to maintain. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society claims that it is being contacted daily by practices that have been removed from panels. Some do not even realise they have been dropped until contacted by a borrower who has instructed them as might be the situation in your buyers' case. The buyers are not going to have any sway in the decision.
I own a freehold premises in Herefordshire but still pay rent, why is this and what is this?
It is rare for properties in Herefordshire and has limited impact for conveyancing in Herefordshire but some freehold properties in England (particularly common in North West England) pay an annual sum known as a Chief Rent or a Rentcharge to a third party who has no other legal interest in the land.
Rentcharge payments are usually between £2.00 and £5.00 per year. Rentcharges date back many centuries, but the Rent Charge Act 1977 barred the establishment of fresh rentcharges post 1977.
Old rentcharges can now be extinguished by making a lump sum payment under the Act. Any rentcharges that are still in existence after 2037 will be dispensed with completely.
It is unclear whether my lender requires a lease extension. I have called my Herefordshire bank branch on various occasions and was informed it wasn't an issue and they would lend. My Herefordshire conveyancing solicitor - who is on the mortgage company conveyancing panel- telephoned to say that they refuse to lend based on their specific requirements. Who do I believe?
As long as the conveyancing practitioner is on the bank approved list, they must adhere to the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Handbook specifications for the bank. 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 bank to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the number of years left on the lease.
I am due to exchange contracts on my flat. I had a double glazing fitted in January 2006, but did not receive a FENSA certificate or Building Regulation Certificate. My buyer's lender, Nationwide are being a right pain. The Herefordshire solicitor who is on the Nationwide conveyancing panel is recommending indemnity insurance as a solution but Nationwide are insisting on a building regulation certificate. Why do Nationwide have a conveyancing panel if they don't accept advice from them?
It is probably the case that Nationwide have referred the matter to their valuer. The reason why Nationwide may not want to accept indemnity insurance is because it does not give them any reassurance that the double glazing was correctly and safely installed. The indemnity insurance merely protects against enforcement action which is very unlikely anyway.
TSB have agreed my home loan in principle, my bid on a flat in Herefordshire has been agreed to, what happens next?
The property agent will want to be informed of your lawyer's details (ensure that the property lawyers are on the lender’s approved list). Call up TSB or your financial adviser and finalise any relevant documentation. TSB will appoint a valuer who will get in touch with the estate agent or seller to schedule an appointment. Once conducted (assuming no problems) it takes on average ten days to receive the mortgage offer. TSB will issue the offer to you and your conveyancers. The legal work will then take it’s course according the nature and complexity of the conveyancing in Herefordshire.
My relative advised me that if I am buying in Herefordshire I should carry out a Neighbourhood, Planning and Local Amenity Search. Can you explain what the purpose of this search is?
A search of this type is sometimes included in the estimate for your Herefordshire conveyancing searches. It is a large report of more than thirty pages, listing and detailing significant information about Herefordshire around the property and the people living there. It includes an Aerial Photograph, Planning Applications, Land Use, Mobile Phone Masts, Rights of Way, the local Housing Market, Council Tax Banding, the demographics of People living in the area, the dominant type of Housing, the Average House Prices, Crime statistics, Local Education with maps and statistics, Local Amenities and other useful information about Herefordshire.
Please can you explain what my options are where my Herefordshire conveyancing searches shows adverse results?
Usually, the majority of problems revealed in Herefordshire conveyancing search responses can be addressed ahead of completion or indemnity insurance can be put on cover. You need to note that although you may be buying the property and might be content to live with the search results, your building society or bank may not, and ultimately they have the word say.